Kate Fagan's post on Day 1 of Sixers training camp is a must-read. Below are a few quotes and tidbits I found interesting, along with my commentary.
Collins was running through some 5-on-0 drills and he initially used a "starting" lineup of PG Jrue Holiday, SG Iguodala, SF Thaddeus Young, PF Elton Brand, and C Spencer Hawes. His second unit was PG Lou Williams, SG Evan Turner, SF Jodie Meeks, PF Trent Plaisted, C Marreese Speights. A few minutes into that second unit's time, Collins substituted F Jason Kapono for Meeks and you got the impression he intended Kapono to run that spot all along.
Not what I expected the rotations to be -- no Turner or Speights in the starting lineup. Hawes starting at center isn't much of a surprise, nor should it be much of a problem. But Turner playing with the second unit? That's surprising. You may think I'm overreacting to the first day of training camp, until you read this quote ...
When asked about playing Iguodala at the shooting guard, Collins said he feels that's what's best for the team because of the roster. If he starts Iguodala at the small forward, that pushes both Thaddeus Young and Nocioni to the bench. Since Collins feels Young and Nocioni are two of the team's better players, he said it wouldn't make sense for the team to have both players on the bench at the start of the game.
Wait a second. Did Collins basically just say that either Thad or Nocioni will be in the starting lineup? I think he did. That means "The Villain" will start the season on the bench. I may be reading too much into the quote, but it seems pretty cut and dry to me.
"You can talk a lot of basketball with [Hawes], which is a lot of fun. I had a conversation with him about how the defense will be playing me and how he can make certain passes from the elbow. He has a lot of input so we can relate a whole lot, we can adjust. He's kind of like Peyton Manning. He's able to do some of the same things as far as being a big man who can deliver passes ... really had a great practice with Spencer and I can tell we're going to be connecting a whole lot."
Andre just compared Spencer Hawes to Peyton Manning. Does that add more or less weight to his Jrue-Payton comparison?
"I hope [Nocioni] becomes a 20-minute a night guy for us," Collins said.
NoceOne may need be hosed down. Also, Noce playing 20 minutes may be a sign Collins cares more about winning 43 games than developing youth.
"There was about 200 yards to go and [Evan Turner] and Jrue were running neck and neck and Jrue tried to make a move on him and he won. I said to our coaches, ‘The best thing that happened was he won that mile.' Because it gave him a feeling of accomplishment."
So much for being out of shape. I like the idea of a quiet competition between the two.
"[Evan is] a facilitator, right now. He's a guy who loves to get other guys involved. And that's what I want him to be right now. And as he goes along, I want him and Jrue and Dre and those guys to play together and all of a sudden he gets more of a scoring mentality."
Which explains him playing with the second unit, where he'll able to facilitate for Lou, Kapono and Speights.
[Marreese Speights] had a great summer. He's so proud of how hard he's worked, his body, how good of shape he's in. He ran the mile on Monday in 6:23, I dare to mention there's no way he could have ran 8 minutes last year. With Mo, everything with him is his conditioning. Because when he's conditioned, his legs are strong, when his legs are strong, his offense is good, and when his offense is good, it helps the other phases of his game. Last year he tweaked his leg, got heavy, got out of shape. The guy can score in his sleep. I'm not worried about that. For us, he has to defend."
Emphasis is mine. I'm happy as long as everyone's clear on what Speights needs to do. If he becomes an average defender his value sky-rockets. As for his 6:23 mile, that's very impressive.
"... Nobody had a role out there last year. We were just out there playing Princeton. It was a disaster last year, so we're not going to talk about that."