The Iguodala Injury Dilemma

The Iguodala Injury Dilemma

In the Sixers loss the other night to the Pacers, Andre Iguodala looked awfully rusty in his first game back after missing a stretch trying to rest his Achilles’ tendinitis. It was not fun for Sixers fans to watch Dre struggle, especially when his... let's call them "less-than-100%-healthy minutes" could be going to other youngsters to help them develop.

The Delco Times' Dennis Deitch has an article this morning wondering whether Andre is being hurried back to the court because the Sixers need him, as Doug Collins says, or whether they want him out there to showcase him for other teams prior to the February 24th trade deadline.

The irony is that his hasty return very well could be related to wanting to move forward without him. A healthy Iguodala would be a nice option for playoff teams trying to fill a need, and there are teams who could use a two-way swingman on the court. But now that his Achilles’ tendon has been giving him this much trouble for this long, it would take quality time on the court for Iguodala to prove he can do that this season.

I think it's safe to say that the majority of Sixers fans would be completely fine without Dre on the squad, especially if the team was able to get anything of substance in return for him in a trade. (Except for that one commenter who LOVES Dre's defense. Yes, his defense is top notch, but does it outweigh all of the other frustrating things he does as the "star player" on the Sixers?)

The next month and a half should be critical in the future of Andre Iguodala and the Sixers.

In other Sixers news, part of Spencer Hawes recent struggles stem from another back injury. You're not going to win many games when two of your starters are hampered by lingering injuries.

>>Iggy's shaddow casts doubt on Sixers playoff chances [Delco]

>>Sixers: Hawes' latest back injury has him down [Delco]

 

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."

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

With Roman Quinn's season over with an oblique strain, Freddy Galvis moves up to second in the Phillies' lineup Wednesday night against the Braves.

Quinn's showing in the majors this month was a microcosm of his pro career to this point — he showed his speed with four steals and several infield hits, posted a .373 OBP in 69 plate appearances, but suffered another injury. Health has always been his roadblock.

With Quinn out, Cody Asche gets a start in left field against Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who he's homered off of. The presence of Quinn and Aaron Altherr has limited Asche's playing time — he's started only three games since coming back from Triple A on Sept. 10.

Asche bats seventh, a spot ahead of Aaron Altherr, who is 7 for 52 (.135) in his last 18 games and has four extra-base hits in his last 133 plate appearances.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Cody Asche, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Adam Morgan, P

Matt Kemp, who sat last night, returns to the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Dansby Swanson, SS
7. Mallex Smith, RF
8. Daniel Castro, 2B
9. Mike Foltynewicz, P