76ers Blog: Guests Spotted at Practice
10/1/2013 3:59:00 PM
'I enjoy learning. I'm always on edge that you don't know as much as you should.' - Brett Brown
The 76ers are in the midst of trying to manage a demanding training camp schedule, all while adjusting to sweeping off-season change. The team is currently conducting the last of its three two-a-day training camp practice sessions at Saint Joseph's Hagan Arena. The group will work out there again tomorrow, before heading abroad for the NBA's Global Games series.
Based upon some of the feedback that Brett Brown has given so far, it sounds like the first-year head coach is still trying to get a sense of what type of product the Sixers will be capable of providing in their first two exhibition match-ups. Much of the uncertainty stems from the newness of the roster, and recent bumps and bruises suffered by the club; G Darius Morris broke his nose last Monday, PF Arnett Moultrie needed left ankle surgery on Thursday, C Kwame Brown is out with a right hamstring strain, and PF Lavoy Allen and PF Spencer Hawes have had knee problems.
Following this morning's practice, though, Brown was encouraged by what he saw. He said, 'I thought today was better than yesterday. It was more consistent with the energy. In general, it was a good, competitive practice.'
Last week, Brown mentioned that he operates most comfortably when sticking to plans, whether they be for the short-term or long-term. He acknowledged that, as a result of the Sixers being somewhat short-handed, he's had to adjust the rigors of his training camp program. Brown said, 'Today, we're tapering backwards a bit. We want to go over [to Europe] healthy, and incrementally get to that fitness level that we talk about.' Brown was quick to point out, however, reaching that point must happen soon.
While the individual and collective efforts of the 76ers might be a bit up-and-down in the first week of training camp, one constant at practice has been the presence of recognizable local and national members of the basketball community. Most notably, former NBA head coach and now ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy has been an observer at Hagan Arena the past two days. Brown said, 'I like listening to what veteran coaches have to say. I'm all ears. I'll seek counsel from a bunch of different ways. I've known Jeff for a long time. I appreciate him making the effort to come here and share his thoughts.'
Brown's practices have also been attended by Drexel men's basketball head coach Bruiser Flint, and members of the Temple men's basketball staff.
'How lucky am I to be in this city with some pretty good basketball minds, and say, come look at it, what do you think?'
Other news items from today...
- PF Spencer Hawes spoke about his tweaked' knee injury that kept him out of today's early practice session. He said he slipped on a wet spot of the Hagan Arena floor yesterday, and that he sat out the morning practice as a precaution.
- G Darius Morris - signed by the Sixers a few weeks ago - broke his nose last Monday, September 24th following what he called 'incidental' contact with F Thaddeus Young; the two were taking part in a pre-training camp workout. Morris said he'll have to wear a protective mask on his face for the next month or two.
- Head coach Brett Brown gave an update on C Nerlens Noel. Brown said Noel is following the same non-contact training regimen as all other Sixers players. When the rest of the team is scrimmaging, Brown explained that Noel is assigned shooting drills to re-enforce 'fundamentals and basic techniques.' Brown reiterated that he's looking forward to having Noel travel with the Sixers to Europe later this week, and believes the experience will allow Noel to further bond with teammates, despite his on-court limitations.
** Audio links found beneath image in upper right hand corner of article **
- Head Coach Brett Brown ~ On assignment to develop 76ers' youthful roster
- PF Spencer Hawes ~ On curiousity to meet teammate F Royce White
- G Darius Morris ~ On passing over Los Angeles Lakers to sign with 76ers