Hawks-Sixers Preview | Jan. 11, 2009
Hawks.com emailed Tom McGinnis, who handles the radio play-by-play duties for the Philadelphia 76ers, to get his take on how Philly has performed so far in 2008-09. His responses are below:
1. The Sixers havenít had quite the season most expected from them, and head coach Maurice Cheeks took the fall for the teamís poor performance. Has the team done any better under new coach Tony Dileo? What has been the biggest problem for them on the whole?
Tom McGinnis: The slow start was not exactly what
everyone expected. There was definitely going to be a period of adjustment early
in the season in terms of the players adapting to Elton Brand and his style of
play. But, the results weren't what President Ed Stefanski thought they should
be at a certain point and he made a coaching change. Tony Dileo has been with
the organization for 19 years and has stepped in and done a good job, The Sixers
scoring us up about six points per game and the team is a game over .500 in his
time on the sideline.
2. Thaddeus Young had a promising rookie season, and really seems to be blossoming this season. What do you see as his ceiling as a player?
McGinnis: Thaddeus Young has been terrific in his second season with the
team. He started out leading the club in scoring, and then team's paid more
attention to him defensively and his scoring has dipped a little. But he has a
tremendous amount of ability and is getting better all the time. He has a great
work ethic and a willingness to learn and get better. So, those attributes
coupled with a great deal of athletic skill makes for a lot of promise.
3. Elton Brand is currently out with a shoulder injury. How much longer is he projected to be out, and has the team had to adjust its style without him?
Tom McGinnis: Elton Brand is practicing with the team, but limited to non
contact drills. His timetable for returning from his shoulder injury was a month
and the injury occurred on Dec. 17, so he appears to be on schedule for a return
4. Marreese Speights is the only rookie on Phillyís roster. How has he performed so far in his first season?
Tom McGinnis: Another Sixers forward that has been steady and a times spectacular is Marreese Speights out of Florida. His productivity has earned him more playing time and his upside his unlimited. He can shoot the ball well, he rebounds the ball, he's physical and he runs the floor with the best of the big men in our league. He's been very good for a first year player. Sunday's game with the Hawks should be a good one.