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Daily Times staff writer Dennis Deitch covers the 76ers

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Your morning moment of Den.

Sometimes I like to sleep on things. I'm not sure if it's because somewhere in my subconscious things speak to me (I very rarely have any recollection of my dreams), or if it's the Yang of deliberation trying to balance the Yin of impulse that usually dominates my personality. Regardless of the reason, I'm going to make a "morning after" post a staple of this blog the day following games I cover.

Let's go over a couple of things that stick in my mind following last night's -- shocking? stunning? where-the-hell-has-that-been? -- victory over the Mavericks.

1) Eddie Jordan's starting switch: I know there were a few writers that were irritated by Jordan's masking his shifting of Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday to starting roles and Thad Young and Lou Williams to reserve status. Here's how I feel about it: It wasn't about us. It was an attempt at gamesmanship, and I kind of like when coaches use that in the right amounts.

m Jordan is a desperate coach right now. He should be. If the Sixers win 14 games in the second half, I can almost guarantee he will not be the coach in 2010-11. If he thought that springing a 40-percent shift in his starting five at the last minute on a team like Dallas might offer the Sixers some intangible, then why not try it. I know that in this world of Twitter and Facebook there are reporters who feel this need to offer immediate information, and if they tweeted the starting five at 6 pm (first of all, it would have been the same-ol', same-ol' ... so that would have been a snoozer of a tweet) they would have been wrong by 7 pm.

Big deal. It's a tweet. Let's not get neurotic about this stuff.

As for the lineup switch itself, Jordan got it half-right. Brand should start, and Thad Young should come off the bench. Young has been very discombobulated this season. But when you run him out there late in the first quarter or in the second quarter against an opponent's reserves, he will be the best player on the court. And when he's the best player on the court, he is very, very explosive, as he showed in the second quarter last night.
But Williams should go back in the starting lineup tonight. Holiday is a little too green for the assignment; his skills play up far better when he comes off the bench. Yes, a Williams-Iverson backcourt is very undersized and defensively overmatched some nights. But the Sixers have been a pretty good first-quarter team this season. If Williams or Iverson isn't a good fit some night, just shorten their time on the court by subbing in for them. There's no law that says a sub has to play fewer minutes than a starter.

2) The WNJC guy: This is more of a behind-the-scenes thing, but it was too humorous to not mention. There was a guy from the radio station WNJC -- don't know who he was, and I don't feel a need to point him out by name for ridicule -- credentialed for the game and he was VERY excited about the Sixers win.

Every now and then you get a non-sports media member who finagles a credential to the game. But usually they lay low and keep any excitement about being in this element to themselves. Well, the WNJC guy wasn't about to keep his mouth shut. The result was hilarity.

As the postgame presser with Eddie Jordan was winding down, WNJC guy suddenly raised his voice: "Your bench outscored them by 22 points in this game! Great effort!"
That was his question. Jordan responded with an "Uhhh, thanks" that was just precious. It was beautiful.

Oh, but WNJC guy saved his best for Allen Iverson. (Thanks to AP's Dan Gelston for the tape of this.):

"Allen, you're an All-Star, and i think you've been an All-Star your whole career, you deserve this more than anybody on the Philadelphia 76ers. You're an icon and Philadelphia loves you, as well as I do from WNJC."
Yeah, he said that.

Personally, I want that dude at every game. He was like the crazy uncle at the Thanksgiving table. I even suggested to the other writers that we have a WNJC Guy Night where we all approach the postgame interviews with that style. It would be like a Twilight Zone episode. It would be beautiful.

OK, the coffee cup is empty. I have an Iverson analysis that I thought about writing here, but I would like to write it for the paper. In the midst of his All-Star selection discussion, Allen wandered into the Tiger Woods territory, and it gave me an interesting idea for a column.


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