Open Thread: Washington Wizards vs. Philadelphia 76ers, Preseason Game 7

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The Essentials:

Wizards (19-63 last season) vs. 76ers (41-41)
7:00 p.m.
Wachovia Center
TV: Comcast SportsNet (hoo-ray!!!)
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable 76ers numbers last season

15th in expected winning percentage (.503)
21st in pace (90 possessions per game)
19th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (107.9)
14th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (107.8)

Pre-game links

Liberty Ballers, SB Nation's Philadelphia 76ers blog
Philadunkia, a 76ers blog
Depressed Fan, a 76ers blog
Deep Sixer with Philly Inquirer 76ers reporter Kate Fagen
Eddie Jordan opens up about his time in DC - Michael Lee
Ball Don't Lie's 76ers preview
Liberty Ballers' 76ers season preview
ESPN's Experts Preview: 76ers
Backup role a struggle for Dominic McGuire - Mike Jones
Mixed Emotions from Wizards players about facing Eddie Jordan - Michael Lee
GameDay Philadelphia

Tonight's Projected Starters
Wizards vs. 76ers
Randy Foye PG Louis Williams
DeShawn Stevenson Nick Young
SG Andre Iguodala
Caron Butler SF Thaddeus Young
Andray Blatche Fabricio Oberto
PF Elton Brand
Brendan Haywood C Samuel Dalembert

 

UPDATE: Nick Young's starting instead of DeShawn Stevenson.  Just when you think a guy is buried in Flip Saunders' rotation, it turns out he might not be.  Also, Fabricio Oberto is starting instead of Andray Blatche.  Say this about Flip Saunders: he has stuck to his mantra of "let's tinker so I can see all possible combination before the games count."

It's the Wizards vs. the former Wizards coach and his band of preseason-winning but slow-to-pick-up-the-Princeton players.  If anything, it should be pretty interesting.  The Wizards are kind of outclassed here -- Antawn Jamison is out due to injury and Gilbert Arenas and Mike Miller stayed back because of the flu -- but they have more experience with the Princeton offense than the current crop of 76ers has.  That should be worth something, somewhere, at least you'd think.

The 76ers are a solid 5-1 this preseason, which is good.  Eddie Jordan, thus far, has resisted the temptation to go really, really small and play Willie Greene instead of Samuel Dalembert, which I'd thought he'd do at this point.  They seem like they're learning the Princeton gradually, which is good for them.  But there has also been some odd behavior from the new 76ers coach this preseason, and I mean odd as in out of character, not bad.  He had his players completely scrap the Princeton offense for the final three quarters of a win over the Knicks earlier in the preseason, claiming the Knicks, specifically former Wizards Larry Hughes and Jared Jeffries, knew the plays.  Then, Jordan randomly bashed breakout candidate Marreese Speights after a game in which he scored 32 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, blocked two shots and nearly led the 76ers back from an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit against Phoenix. 

"We want people to produce while we win," Jordan told FanHouse. "That's what we're looking at. We're not just looking at guys who get stats. We're looking at, are you making winning plays? Are you helping your teammates?

"You know, a lot of guys can go out and get a lot of numbers and not help their teammates and do things to win. So, we want him to grow as a team player, and yet, be productive individually."

Jordan might be right, but ... man ... couldn't that have been handled in-house?  Then again, he might be trying to lay the law down early.  One of the complaints many 76ers had with former coach Tony DiLeo after the playoffs last year was that he wasn't very disciplined, and Maurice Cheeks, the previous coach, certainly didn't do well on that front either. 

Either way, Philly's a talented team that might take some time to get going.  Losing Andre Miller hurts, but the 76ers are confident Louis Williams is a better fit for the no-PG Princeton.  Time will tell. 

The 76ers remain a team that forces turnovers extremely well (2nd in the league last year), but can't shoot.  Flip Saunders' teams usually take good care of the ball and make you hit the outside shot.  Hopefully, those trends continue.

This is an open game thread, so any comments (good or bad) about Eddie Jordan are welcome.  Seriously.

GO WIZARDS!

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