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Tag:training camp
Posted on: October 5, 2010 2:49 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 2:56 pm
 

Evan Turner will come off the bench as PG

Sixers rookie moving to backup PG, will come off the bench.
Posted by Matt Moore


Not quite ready for intro. That's the decision of Sixers head coach Doug Collins regarding second overall pick Evan Turner. It's not a bad thing, though, especially considering that Collins told the Philadelphia Inquierer Monday that Evans would be playing backup point guard to Jrue Holiday, expected to be a standout this season. Turner has been considered a wing for as long as he's been a prospect, despite averaging six assists last season as a Buckeye.

The move means takes a headache away from Collins as the difficulty in finding time for both Turner and Iguodala on the wing is now shifted, with Thaddeus Young maintaining his starting position. Evans as a point guard is an intriguing idea at 6-7, putting him in the same size and versatility index of Tyreke Evans, though with more polish and less athleticism. How he works on the second unit will be interesting. It's also something to keep an eye on due to the fact that if Turner were to reach his potential, the Sixers could be setting themselves up for a point guard controversy. As it stands, Turner will learn the ropes and not be forced into anything, the best situation for a rookie trying to learn the most difficult position in the NBA.

The truth of the matter is that the Sixers rotation is liquid right now. Turner can play point, shooting guard, or small forward. Andre Iguodala can play shooting guard, small forward, or even power forward in a pinch. Thaddeus Young can play either forward position, though he's been vocal in the past about playing small forward. While Doug Collins sorts out what works and what doesn't, and while Rod Thorn and Ed Stefanski attempt to put together a plan going forward, there will be experiments. But from how confident Collins has been about Turner as a point guard, it doesn't look like this is one of them.
Posted on: September 29, 2010 2:53 pm
 

Doc Rivers expects more from Celtics

Celtics coach not thrilled with C's condition, looking to compete consistently throughout the season.Posted by Matt Moore

The Celtics know the score. They know what they're doing. They know how to win titles. They have experience. They don't need practice. We're talking about practice. Okay, bad example. But training camp means very little to a team that really couldn't care less until the flowers are blooming in April. But apparently, there is a floor the Celtics shouldn't drop to, and according to Doc Rivers, they're flirting with it.

Rivers wasn't exactly blooming with pride over his older club's condition. From the Boston Globe :

"...I think that we’re not in great shape personally. I don’t think that we’ve come back in the condition that we want. So we’re going to have to come back in better shape."

This goes in tandem with other comments he made in reference to the Celtics' late-late-late last second surge last season. In essence, they lost the championship because Game 7 was on the road. Game 7 was on the road because they weren't in a position to get those wins mid-season. From the Boston Herald :

“What we did last year was play Game 7 on the road,” Rivers said. “If Game 7 was in Boston Garden it would have been very different. So that was on us. Last year was out of necessity. It wasn’t planned. It was planned if we had the injuries, then we had to make a tough call to start resting guys in the middle of the season. I hope as coach I don’t have to make that call this year."

Doc is not messing around.

What this could mean is a Celtics team that coasts less during the late winter months, a period in which the Celtics admitted they were "bored" last year. The competition is higher this year, with the Bulls, Knicks, and, you may have heard, Heat all improved considerably. As a result, Rivers likely wants to have his team back in 2008 form, seeking to destroy each and every team on the schedule. That's the kind of effort it may take this season. Rolling through Christmas and coasting through March should be a strategy of last restort, not the prototype. For all the talk of how the Celtics don't care or worry about the regular season, the C's late season swoon obviously took its toll on Rivers, who very nearly failed to return this season.

So now we get to see what kind of C's are ready for the regular season. Because it would appear that they did not dedicate themselves physically to another run over the summer. This is the time for that. The window is closing on the Celtics. If they want to toss a brick in the frame to prop it open, they're going to need to toss the pounds and work to be in the best condition they can be. The stakes are higher, now.
Posted on: September 28, 2010 6:35 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 6:39 pm
 

Evan Turner sounds upbeat on his first day

Sixers rook talks to CBSSports.com on his first day of school camp, thinks he'll play more at guard than forward.
Posted by Matt Moore


CBSSports.com's Lauren Shehadi talked to Sixers rookie Evan Turner after practice today and the Sixers rookie sounds all cheery and upbeat. We call this "the before video."



A few tidbits here.
  • Immediately, the fact that Lou Williams had taken Turner under his wing stands out, as that's not exactly the best way for a new kid to get acquainted. But maybe that's a good introduction for the kid to how business works in the NBA.
  • He says he thinks he'll spend more time at guard with Jrue (Holiday) which is a comfort. Turner doesn't have the frame to be able to guard wings in the NBA and needs to spend his time on the perimeter. Andre Iguodala's overall game is better suited to those tasks.
Posted on: September 28, 2010 5:13 pm
 

The incredible shrinking Brand

Sixers forward has slimmed down considerably.
Posted by Matt Moore


Elton Brand has becom the kind of albatross contract teams dread having. At times not even cracking the starting lineup last season, Brand has plummeted into irrelevance since signing as a free agent in Philadelphia. Elton Brand used to be a monster, a franchise cornerstone. Now he's just a big contract for an older, out of shape player unable to contribute to the level he needs to.

Or... maybe not?

NBA.com's John Schuhmann reports that Brand has shown up for camp at 254 pounds, a significant weight loss that should increase his mobility. New head coach Doug Collins gave Brand a goal of 255 when they met this summer, and Brand has met that goal. It's a huge step for a player whose mobility has been severely limited by his balooning size the past few seasons. Brand suffered an achilles injury in 2007 and never has really recovered, despite signing as a free agent in Philly in 2008, shunning the Clippers who drafted him.

Brand, next to Marreese Speights, could give the Sixers a huge boost if he can contribute with even a slight improvement this season. Additionally, the better he plays, the easier it might be for them to move him which would help in their rebuilding process.

A resurgent Elton Brand? Too much to hope for? Hey, that's what training camp's for.

Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:38 pm
 

Preseason Primer: Houston Rockets

Posted by Matt Moore

The Rockets finally have Yao Ming healthy. They finally have Tracy McGrady out of their hair. They finally have the pieces together to make another run. But can any of the pieces fit together? Are they really as dangerous as everyone says they are? Does speaking in rhetorical questions make you want to read this, our next selection in our Preseason Primers ? Let's find out as we talk about the Rox.


Training camp site: Houston, TX (Hidalgo, TX in early October)

Training camp starts: September 25th

Key additions: Brad Miller (free agent), Courtney Lee (trade), Patrick Patterson (draft)

Key subtractions: Trevor Ariza (trade), David Andersen (trade)

Likely starting lineup:
Aaron Brooks (PG), Kevin Martin (SG), Shane Battier (SF), Luis Scola (PF), Yao Ming (C)

Player to watch:
Patrick Patterson. Assuming the Rox don't go all nuts and acquire Carmelo Anthony during camp, their starting lineup is pretty well set. But Patterson is a rookie who comes out of that ridiculous Kentucky class and could wind up being the kind of flex player that makes a big impression on Rick Adelman. He's versatile, strong, has a good mid-range, and can work inside of a complex offense. He's got a great opportunity to make an impact for the Rockets during camp.


Chemistry quiz:
The Rockets have seemed like a team that's liked one another for years. They hung together when Yao Ming went down, and their samurai-like approach last year was noble, even if it fell short. Basically, even without the star talent you need to win in this league, the Rockets were the team you didn't want to run into in a dark alley. They were tough, gritty, and hung together. The addition of Kevin Martin, trying to reassert himself as a premier player in this league could cause issues, and there's no telling if the same goodwill will maintain with as many changes as the Rockets have made in the past two years. But the core elements are in place, and the tone of camp should be fun and focused, instead of contentious and tense. Not having solified expectations due to Yao's injury should help with manners as well.


Camp battles:
Small forward was set to be a huge battle but promising second year man Chase Budinger tweaked an ankle and won't be able to battle old man Battier for the slot left open by Trevor Ariza's departure. Jermaine Taylor, Courtney Lee, and Jared Jeffries should have a good one for the backup role behind Martin. Jordan Hill vs. Patterson should make for a nice one as well, with Hill's scrap versus Patterson's finesse providing contrast in style.

Injury issues:
Budinger's ankle is significant, but other than that the Rockets seem really healthy and don't have any pro...OH, YEAH. Yao Ming is coming back from an injury that's held him out for a year and a half and is trying to just stay on the floor while the rest of the team holds its breath everytime his feet leave the ground. camp.

Biggest strength:
Doin' work. The Rockets put in a full effort every night, a testament to both the roster assembled and Rick Adelman's job. They lacked an identity last year without Yao, but it did help them to adjust to whatever they faced. The Rockets can get out and run, or grind it out. They're really best when they're doing both. They'll battle for every loose ball and every player knows his role. It's a strong team they've put together.

Glaring weakness:
Three point shooting. Brooks isn't an efficient shooter. Martin's three point shooting dropped off a cliff last season. Budinger can shoot, but the rest of the team isn't great from the arc, including backup point guard Kyle Lowry.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com