Iguodala Hits Buzzer Beater

Iguodala Hits Buzzer Beater

The Sixers came back from a 19 point deficit late in the third quarter to beat the Timberwolves 86 to 84 on an impressive touch shot with time expiring by Andre Iguodala.  Definitely watch the highlights from the game over at ESPN.  There has been some talk of trading for Ron Artest on sports talk radio recently.  I'd be in favor of bringing in Artest but not if it means giving up Iggy.  He is the most exciting player on the Sixers after Iverson and his potential is still yet unknown.

In a recent posting over at ESPN writer Chris Broussard's website, he writes a piece which says Iverson and Webber aren't able to coexist.  Apparently Webber blew up in the locker room recently:

A league source told me Chris Webber went off in the Sixers' locker room after the demolition by the Wizards. Frustrated by the team's mediocrity, Webber yelled at coaches and players alike while saying, in essence, he never gets the ball.

I'm not sure if he named Iverson directly, but I'm told it was clear he was calling out A.I., who dominates the rock and is averaging a whopping 25.8 shots a game, second only to King Kobe.

Apparently, the episode made Iverson wonder if he's leading the Sixers correctly. Why else would he question his role, which has been to hoist and hoist and hoist since he set foot in Philly 10 years ago?

Coach Maurice Cheeks was stunned by A.I.'s assertion, but certainly understood where it was coming from. That's why he spoke for 27 minutes after Wednesday's loss to New Jersey about the importance of "sticking together'' through tough times. Then on Thursday, Cheeks cancelled practice and instead, in an obvious attempt at bonding, took the team paint-balling.

Can't you just see Sammy Dalembert trying to hide behind a tree and snipe Chris Webber?  There surely must be a joke involving A.I. using a fire arm.  It is actually a very good piece and talks about how the Sixers defense is wretched and how Iverson may be stunting Iggy's growth.  Check it out.

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers lost Jahlil Okafor for the final 23 games last season because of a small meniscus tear in his right knee. Now they are being cautious as he prepares for his second year.

As part of the Sixers’ prescheduled load management for Okafor, he participated in a portion of practice and then worked out individually with head strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright.

“They just told me to relax once I did what they wanted me to do today,” Okafor said. “I was off to the sidelines. I feel fine. I’ll be good tomorrow.”

Okafor learned during his first NBA season that he should speak more openly with the staff about his body.

“Communication is key,” he said. “I think last year I didn’t really communicate how I was feeling, so I wasn’t able to get the help I needed.”

The team held three practice sessions in the first two days of training camp. Okafor said he knew the Sixers would be cautious with his workload. He is poised to improve upon his rookie year in which he averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 53 games last season.

“I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said. “I’m all good.”

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."