All tied up, Sixers see series as opportunity


All tied up, Sixers see series as opportunity

This second round series with the Boston Celtics is guaranteed to last at least 11 days, which is just fine with the Sixers, but not what Boston had in mind.

Going back to Boston with the series tied at two games apiece is an opportunity the Sixers are embracing.

"It is a totally different scenario," Elton Brand said of the series being even as opposed to the Sixers being down 3-1. "Down 3-1 is tough -- historically it is tough. It is impossible to come back. A few teams have done it, but it's tough. But at 2-2, we feel good. We feel like we can hold the lead. We can come back and beat this team."

"We have pressure. We want to win this series," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "We aren't in this just to compete, we want to win it."

For the first time in this series there are two days off between games, which should benefit the older legs that belong to the likes of Kevin Garnett, who has logged more then 50,000 minutes in his career. Ray Allen is approaching 47,000 and Paul Pierce has played more then 42,000.

Brand, who has seen his minutes decline in this series, has accumulated more than 32,000 minutes in his career, while Andre Iguodala has totaled less than half the minutes of KG.

After those two veterans there is little mileage on the Sixers' bodies.

On one hand, you can say Boston's mileage equals experience, but fresh legs do not discriminate between age and youth.

"When it was one game, day off, then another game it was probably to our advantage," Brand said. "They have a lot of veterans on that team that could use the rest. It will help us, but definitely going to help them too."

"I haven't talked to our guys about the extra day," Collins said. "What I said to them today was we have to go up there and be prepared. We aren't facing elimination -- we are facing a Game 5 that gives you a chance to take the lead in this series and come home. I don't want our team to feel Boston has an advantage just because they had an extra day's rest. I don't want the to feel that at all."

The Sixers have won two games in this series in two very different ways, but consistent has been their competitiveness, whether it is LaVoy Allen's grit guarding Garnett or Evan Turner playing with reckless abandon, as he did in Game 4 when he shot 5 for 22 yet still had a positive impact on the game.

"The competitiveness of the young guys is definitely at a different level right now," Brand said. "They are attacking. If they aren't shooting well it doesn't matter. They are just being aggressive. They're playing defense, rebounding. It is special to see."

"He hears the word attack all the time, but when you attack, you attack with a purpose. And when you get in there you say what do I have," Collins explained of Turner. "He is so competitive that sometimes he just wants to go and try and finish and now he has to start getting a feel when he gets in there, can he kick that ball out and he is going to learn to do that, but I sure don't want to take away his competitiveness."

This is the 13th time the Sixers and Celtics have met in the postseason and thus far this series is every bit the entertaining rivalry that fans have been treated to in the past. Another chapter will be written Monday night.
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Report: P.J. Carlesimo won't join Sixers' coaching staff


Report: P.J. Carlesimo won't join Sixers' coaching staff

It doesn't sound like the Sixers' replacement for Mike D'Antoni will be the most rumored name for the position.

NBA coaching veteran P.J. Carlesimo has decided to not join Brett Brown's staff as associate head coach and instead will remain a television analyst, according to tweets Sunday night by ESPN's Mark Stein.

Stein added that despite "strong mutual interest," Carlesimo made the decision for family reasons.

The 67-year-old Carlesimo has spent parts of nine seasons as a head coach in the league and five more as an assistant. He was last on a NBA bench when he took over as the Brooklyn Nets' interim head coach in 2012-13.

So the Sixers still have a vacancy on their bench after D'Antoni, who joined the Sixers in the middle of last season after Jerry Colangelo joined the organization, signed on to become head coach of the Houston Rockets last week. Who the team's next choice for the role is remains to be seen.

NBA Notes: Grizzlies hire Heat assistant David Fizdale as head coach


NBA Notes: Grizzlies hire Heat assistant David Fizdale as head coach

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Grizzlies have hired David Fizdale as their new coach and will introduce him in Memphis at a news conference Tuesday.

Memphis announced the move Sunday. The hiring was first reported Thursday by The Associated Press and others. The Grizzlies did not disclose terms, but Yahoo! Sports reported Fizdale agreed to a four-year contract.

General manager Chris Wallace said in a statement that the Grizzlies are confident Fizdale is the right person to help Memphis build on its success.

Fizdale has spent the past eight years with the Miami Heat, the past two as assistant head coach to Erik Spoelstra.

The new Grizzlies coach says he feels fortunate to have worked with some of the NBA's greatest coaches and players and believes he's ready for the challenge of being a head coach (see full story).

Antetokounmpo brothers combine for 133 points in charity game vs. Porzingis
ATHENS, Greece -- NBA stars Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks battled it out in Athens in a game of streetball Sunday, watched by a crowd of 5,000.

Played in an open court in Greece's largest public high school, the "Antetokounbros Streetball Event" ended 123-123. No overtime was played.

Porzingis scored 21 points but was overshadowed by team member Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis' older brother, who scored 69. The two had played for a few games together last season, when Thanasis was signed by the Knicks on a 10-day contract. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the other team with 64 points. The other players were a mixture of veteran pros and amateurs.

On Saturday, Porzingis and the Antetonkoumpo brothers were given a private tour of the Acropolis Museum (see full story).  

Sixers to host 6 more prospects for pre-draft workouts Monday


Sixers to host 6 more prospects for pre-draft workouts Monday

After attending private, agency-run pre-draft workouts, the Sixers will host six players Monday at their practice facility for more workouts.

Joel Bolomboy, James Webb III, Tim Quarterman, Brannen Greene, Danuel House and Isaiah Taylor are all members of the third group of prospects to participate in team-run workouts in Philadelphia.

Bolomboy, a power forward, averaged 17.1 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks his senior season at Weber State.

Quarterman entered the draft following his junior year at LSU, where he played with Ben Simmons. The point guard averaged 11.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game last year in Baton Rouge.

Webb, a forward, left Boise State following his sophomore year. He averaged 15.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals last season.

Greene declared for the draft after his junior year at Kansas. The guard averaged 5.4 points and 2.1 rebounds while shooting 49.2 percent from three last season for the Jayhawks.

House, a guard, transferred from the University of Houston to play his junior and senior seasons at Texas A&M. He posted 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season.

After three seasons at Texas, Taylor, a point guard, declared for the draft. He averaged 15.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists this past season while helping the Longhorns reach the NCAA Tournament.

The Sixers hold the first, 24th and 26th picks in the draft, which takes place on June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.