You can feel the excitement surrounding 76ers basketball as Monday's regular season tip-off approaches. Seriously! The fans who follow the team closest sense the franchise is finally moving in the right direction. There is an improving, young core, and new ownership is revamping the entire product. In another year or two, they will even have the cash to land a prime free agent. If you're not on board right now, you should be.
Nobody could be more thrilled with the direction the Sixers are headed than Doug Collins, who has already played such a huge role in the club's turnaround. The head coach spoke to Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow of WIP on Thursday afternoon, and he left listeners with little doubt that a bright future is right around the corner -- then revealed his top priority is to make the people of Philadelphia proud of their NBA team.
[Listen to the interview below]
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The style of basketball Collins has his guys playing is fun to watch. They give maximum effort, play defense, and get everybody involved in the offense, with a nice rotation of players seeing meaningful minutes. His intelligence and passion for the game, the city, and life always come through in interviews, so give this a listen, and let Doug wish you happy holidays.
Sixers point guard T.J. McConnell is doubtful for Wednesday's home game against the Raptors with a right wrist sprain.
McConnell was in a splint at practice Tuesday and said he would try to play but would leave it up to the medical staff.
McConnell is averaging 4.8 points and 5.4 assists in 38 games. The Sixers went 5-2 in the last seven games he started before his injury, and won 113-104 in Milwaukee without him. Sergio Rodriguez started at PG in McConnell's place and had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Chasson Randle backed up the point and had 10 points and a pair of threes.
Big men update
Joel Embiid did not practice Tuesday and is listed as probable for Wednesday night when the Sixers (13-26) host the Raptors (27-13).
“Joel Embiid ... was a little bit, had the flu,” Brett Brown said.
Brown also added that he does not think Embiid's minutes limit will increase beyond 28 this season.
Jahlil Okafor (probable) did not participate in practice and received treatment. Brown said Okafor had soreness. Gerald Henderson is also probable and had an individualized workout Tuesday.
So far, 2017 has been a pretty big year for Wayne Simmonds.
In addition to being named to his first All-Star team this year, Simmonds clearly had big plans on how to spend his bye week away from hockey, before returning to play the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. He popped the question to his girlfriend, Crystal Corey, and she said yes.
Simmonds announced the engagement on his Instagram.
It could be good news for the Flyers, too. Simmonds is the second Flyer to get engaged this season after Claude Giroux popped the question in December after winning three in a row. The Flyers made the winning streak an even 10 after. Congratulations, Wayne!