It’s been awhile since my last post and I apologize for that. Between battling a reoccurring illness, midterm exams, and the Phightin Phils I have been pretty busy. But I’m glad to be back and even more glad to see the Sixers get off to a positive start in the preseason. Before I get into the Sixers though, I must first mention the amazing comeback last night by the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of their NLDS matchup against the Rockies. This team showed it’s true character by pulling one of the most remarkable comebacks in recent memory in a road playoff game after surrendering a lead just an inning before. Let’s hope for similar success beginning Thursday night when the Phils go to Dodger Stadium to face Los Angeles in Game 1 of the NLCS.
On to the Sixers. Before finishing training camp, the Sixers added former draft pick Rodney Carney, along with PF Stromile Swift. They also gave F Dionte Christmas, F Brandon Bowman and G Sean Singletary spots on the preseason roster. New coach Eddie Jordan seems to have this team moving in the right direction, opening the preseason with a 4-0 record for the first time since 1978. I know it’s just the preseason but there are still a lot of positives to take away from these first four games. For one, the Sixers seem to have their opening day starting lineup set as they have used the same starting lineup in all four games. Jordan has Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand, and Samuel Dalembert starting up top, along with Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala in the backcourt. These guys seem to be developing a good chemistry together, as they are all averaging between 25-30 minutes. More importantly, Elton Brand is having a terrific preseason thus far. In tonight’s win against the Knicks, Brand scored 20 points (8 for 12, 4 for 5 from the line) and grabbed 8 rebounds. He also showed his physical side tonight, fighting for rebounds with Knicks forward Jared Jeffries that resulted in Jeffries catching a few elbows to the face which required four stitches. If Brand can show this same toughness every game of the season, he may finally be able to give the Sixers that dominant low-post presence that they have lacked for a long time, something they will need if they want any chance against the top teams in the East.
The Sixers will look to continue their preseason success on Friday when they head west to face the Phoenix Suns. On a side note, Stromile Swift was waived by the team on Monday, leaving Christmas, Singletary, Bowman and Carney to compete for the final spot on the team. Rodney Carney missed tonight’s game with a strained hamstring. He is participating in contact drills and should be ready to play on Friday against Phoenix. Royal Ivey is also nursing a sore hamstring.