Wilson Chandler moved around the floor with no real issues that I could see on Tuesday afternoon.
The Sixers’ starting power forward did not appear on the injury report and it looks like he’ll be a full go for Wednesday night’s highly anticipated matchup in Toronto. Chandler took a knee to the thigh in the Washington win and did not play on Sunday against the Grizzlies.
He wasn’t running wind sprints inside the gymnasium, but he looked fine doing some light work during the part of training that was open to us:
Some Chandler, who is not listed on injury report: pic.twitter.com/vV0d5OFlHI
— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) December 4, 2018
Jonah Bolden also practiced with the squad today and will be available in Canada after missing about two weeks with a cortical crack in his right fibula. The injury report only lists Markelle Fultz (shoulder consultation), Justin Patton, (right foot surgery), and Zhaire Smith (Jones fracture).
Practice quotes were all over the place today, with questions about the Raptors, Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons’ headbands, and everything in between.
Here are some notes from the availability:
- Chandler and Bolden “looked good” in practice
- Jokingly wanted to forget about the first Toronto game: “My last memory of Toronto, I have selective amnesia.”
- It “makes a big difference” that Toronto can’t just throw Kawhi Leonard on Ben Simmons on every possession now, because they have to consider Jimmy Butler’s presence on the court. (Simmons had 11 turnovers in the first game in Toronto)
- He sees Jimmy Butler as a “sparring partner for Kawhi,” and the Sixers’ history of poor performances is irrelevant to Butler, who joined the team only a few weeks ago.
- He wants the team to continue to improve vanilla concepts, pick and roll defense, off-ball stuff defensively. Offensively they are working on specific situations, down 2 or 3 with certain amounts of time on the clock, different numbers of timeouts remaining. “We go overboard with situations.” The team comes in and goes over film from the previous night’s NBA games on a regular basis.
- team will take a look at Toronto film tomorrow, feels like they are playing better basketball right now than they were the last time. “Every night is a barometer.”
- Toronto has great team and individual defenders, will try blow up dribble hand offs. Sixers weren’t sharp with the ball the last time in Toronto, and a lot of that was due to the Raptors’ defense.
- He doesn’t understand the headbands and the Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons bets. “I don’t know why you have to wear the headbands to make the bet to make steals and blocks. I dunno. It’s all a little far fetched to me.” The headbands, however, are a “great fashion trend.”
- He doesn’t think he’s won in Toronto in a long time, something like 2014. It’s a tough place to play with good fans. “They’ve been a good basketball team for a while now.”
- He says he’s been beating up on player development specialist Remy Ndiaye and director of player development Chris Babcock in 1v1 games after practice.
- Kawhi Leonard has long arms, big hands, plays hard and is “..super smart, I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do on either side of the floor. He can guard, block shots, get steals, that’s why he’s one of the best players in the league.”
- Ben Simmons makes the decision on when to wear the headbands, but JJ Redick is not allowed to wear a headband.
- You have to send Butler and Simmons an email to ask if you can wear a headband and be part of their crew.
- Butler likes T.J. McConnell’s defense: “That motherfucker picks up full court. That’s impressive. I’ll tell you one person who won’t do that..”
#Sixers are at the #Raptors tomorrow. Jimmy Butler was asked if Toronto is a tough arena to play in. Jimmy sad: “I think there’s a lot of, what’s the word, distractions. There can be a lot of distractions in Toronto.” When asked what he means, here was his response: ⬇️ 😂 pic.twitter.com/QoAWYh8xBa
— Dave Uram (@MrUram) December 4, 2018
We can dive more into it tomorrow, but the 17-point Toronto loss was one of the Sixers’ worst performances of the year, one of a few failed early season road tests against the best squads in the Eastern Conference.
I mentioned the 11 turnovers for Ben Simmons, but Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric did not shoot the ball well in that game and neither is in the starting lineup now. You’re looking at a team that has three changes from the last starting five in Toronto, with Fultz, Saric, and Robert Covington making way for Butler, Redick, and Chandler.
I don’t know if it’s a completely different team, but it’s definitely not the same team.