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, all the time

wachovia_center_ext_300.jpgFirst things first, it now looks like we won't have to call the Wach, the Citi going forward. Wachovia, the bank which owns the naming rights to the Sixers' arena, eschewed a government-backed deal to sell itself to CitiGroup in favor of a $15.1B offer from Wells Fargo. "The Wells" sounds much better to me. The "WtF Center?" Better possibilities with Wells Fargo than Citi, plus the potential stink of sharing a name with the Mets is gone, so that's good news.

On the court, the Sixers ran their first full-court scrimmage yesterday and they also unveiled their starting lineup, unless there's a shakeup in the next four weeks:

  • PG: Miller
  • SG: Iguodala
  • SF: Thad
  • PF: Brand
  • C: Dalembert
Just as we've been expecting. Kate Fagan has some brief notes on the scrimmage here. My favorite quote from her piece:

"They say when you're open, shoot it," Young said. "So I was, you know, shooting it."

moandthad.jpgMo is going to have work to do with Thad, to be sure. Early in the season, teams will probably choose to double off of him. I think the key is to make them pay with high percentage shots.

Thad showed tremendous feel on the court as a rookie, especially in moving without the ball. I'd love to see him knock down threes at a good clip (35% plus), but that's not the only way to beat a double team, or avoid it. Last year, as an under-sized power forward, we saw Thad do great work down on the blocks. This year, he'll be a small forward with good size. There's no reason he can't start offensive sets down on the blocks. The Sixers could throw a wrinkle in and play the high-low post game with Brand at the foul line. If the double teams do happen, and it's Thad's guy that's leaving him, a jumper isn't the only option.

I'd like to see Thad cutting through the lane, swinging the ball to the opposite side quickly, forcing the defense to adjust. Truth be told, if teams force Thad to beat them with jumpers, he probably won't be able to do it. Not yet. 

I'm getting ahead of myself, though. The first scrimmage is in the books, we've still got nearly a month to go until the games count. The best news to come out of yesterday's scrimmage was Andre Iguodala's participation. He sat out on Wednesday with a sprained ankle, but it was obviously just the team being overly cautious.