Happy Hump Day to all of the Arthur Mitchell's out there in the world! The Sixers got their first win of the pre-season last night against the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics who were playing at full strength and with the intensity of a playoff game. What's that? None of their starters played? I don't believe you. Nonetheless, a win is a win is a win. Derek was in the house last night covering the game for us, so check out his excellent recap if you get the chance.
The Sixers continue their pre-season adventures tonight against the Toronto Raptors. And in case you were worried, Mike Preston confirmed that they landed in Toronto late last night. Sources close to me saying they flew on hippogriffs the entire way but I'm still searching for confirmation.
Tonight's match-up will be televised on NBA League Pass (Channel GAME1) which I believe is currently free to anybody who's cable provider supports it. Unfortunately, it's the Raptors broadcast team so no ear candy in the name of Marc Zumoff for us tonight.
UPDATE: Contrary to what it said last night, the Sixers/Raptors game is no longer on the League Pass schedule. Phooey.
But let's get to the links of the day, shall we? Today we will recap last night's win, address Collins' bold Jrue Holiday prediction, learn about tiered ticket pricing, and 10 reasons to check out the Sixers this season.
Make all your dreams come true after the jump.
PS: Don't forget to indulge yourselves in today's Not a Podcast as we preivew the Oklahoma City Thunder at 2:00 PM EST.
Kapono came off the bench and threw down four three-pointers to account for his 12 points and also dealt four assists in 19 very active minutes.
"It was cool," he said. "I didn't expect to play as I sat the whole first half, but I'm a professional, and I'm ready to play and help this team. I feel that my skill of shooting can really help this team."
Williams led the Sixers with 19 points and Marreese Speights added 16 to lead seven players in double-digit scoring. Collins was pleased that the team had 29 fastbreak points and made 10 of 12 from three-point range.
Same Article: Spawes is Hurting
"As frustrating as it is, especially since I felt like I came into training camp in great shape and was doing well, you just have to look at the big picture at the end of the day. I thought it was just soreness from training camp, but it just never really got better. Now, compared to, like, 3 or 4 days ago, I'm feeling a lot better. Before, just walking around was kind of a struggle. But now with all the stretching, I'm making progress. I would say about a week more now."
Unlike in his rookie campaign, Holiday is facing high expectations - some of which were brought on by Doug Collins saying he could be one of the league's top five point guards by the end of this year.
"You know what, that's good," Collins said before Tuesday's 103-92 victory over the shorthanded Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center.
"Expectations are only placed on people with talent. I've always said I like people to put expectations on me because they feel I'm supposed to do a good job. I think you learn to deal with that."
"Expectations can either derail you or they can drive you to bigger things. I think Jrue's the kind of kid who's going to be lifted by expectations."
Thaddeus Young said he and his teammates are confident Holiday will be fine.
"He has a whole new system and a whole new everything," Young said. "He's going to figure a way to accommodate us and get back to his old self."
"I know the Celtics' starters didn't play, but still that's a very tough defensive team," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "Was it against the Celtics' second team? Yeah, but I'm not going to diminish the fact that our guys fought back and won that game, because it looked pretty ugly with about six minutes gone in the third."
None of Collins' starters - Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala, Young, and Brand - played fewer than 28 minutes, but both Iguodala and Brand sat for the fourth quarter. Collins played 10 players, using four substitutes (Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Jason Kapono, and Andres Nocioni) for more than 18 minutes. Speights led the Sixers with 19 points.
With 20 seconds left in third Andre Iguodala was pusing the ball in transition he spotted an open Kapono for three. Kapono thought about it and then made the extra pass to Williams for a corner three which is closer. Collins had emphasized such execution on Sunday. His team was up two heading into the final frame.
"Offensively we got a little better spacing," Iguodala said of the team turning a corner. "Two shooters out there opens the court up for myself and Lou Williams penetrating. J.K. came in and got to his spot, I hit him and then he drew somebody that left someone else open. From there we just got a good flow. If you are a team that doesn’t have a shooter out there they pack it in and you start second guessing yourself with open shots. You can shoot too many threes when you don’t have good shooters, but when Nocioni and Kapono came out there it changed."
Turner made his second start of this preseason and he isn’t shy in saying he hopes he can hold onto the spot.
"You get to warm up and then going from warm-ups to the starting lineup helps a lot and I also think you get a better feel for the rhythm of the game," the rookie explained of his preference to be on the floor for the opening tip.
"I am used to being out there. It is kind of hard to get used to (coming off the bench), but hopefully I keep playing well and it’s the best situation and best for the team I think I might stay in the lineup."
For the opening night game Oct. 27 against the Miami Heat, single-game tickets are priced at between $25 and $238, with the highest-priced tickets in six center-court, lower-level sections.
For the team’s second home game against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 3, and for all its other games except for the Heat and Lakers contests, the price range is $15 to $119. When the Lakers visit in December, single game tickets are priced at between $25 and $139.
3. Jrue Holliday: He really looks like he could join the crop of young point guards that are changing the NBA. With Turner, Holliday, and Thaddeus Young, you have 3 young guys on the court with some real basketball IQ.
2. EDDIE JORDAN IS NOT THE COACH: It bears repeating.
When the Washington Post’s Michael Lee and other reporters approached Arenas after the game to ask about his sore knee that kept him out, he said he faked it to help get Nick Young some more playing time.
"I know he’s kind of frustrated he’s not getting a chance to crack the three position, especially since we’re going three guards, so I told him I’d go ahead and fake an injury or say something’s wrong with me so you can start," a smiling Arenas said in the locker room.
You know Mr. Arenas, another way you might have gone about this would be to go to coach and say, "hey, can you get Young some more minutes tonight, he wants them I would like a little lighter night." (Or maybe he did and Arenas was just having a little fun with the media.)