Tuesday, October 8, 3:00PM (EST) at Phones 4u Arena, Manchester, England
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by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: October 8, 2013
Manchester, England –– Sixers head coach Brett Brown said before his team’s weeklong trip to Europe that the experience the group would gain off the court would likely outweigh the things they learned on it. One day after coaching his first game with Philadelphia, a 106-104 win over Spanish ACB club Bilbao Basket, he reiterated that point.
“Whether you’re playing in Bilbao, or Manchester, or Oklahoma City, or New York, playing’s playing,” said Brown. “It’s not like we travel so our defense is better, or so our offense is better. We travel so you can try to get more understanding of who your roommate is, who your teammate is, who your plane partner is.”
Tuesday, however, the Sixers will face what is likely to be their toughest on-court challenge of the preseason – a game against Oklahoma City at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England. But the team’s approach will be the same as it was against Bilbao on Sunday.
“[We just want to] go out there and get better as a team,” forward Thaddeus Young said after practice Monday.” We know OKC is a very good team. They’ve been together the past few years, and they’ve been to the playoffs, the Finals, so we just basically want to go out there and just play hard and just make sure we get into all our [offensive sets] and do what we want to do.”
The Thunder will be without All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, who continues to rehab from offseason knee surgery. In their Saturday exhibition game against Fenerbahce Ulker in Istanbul, Turkey, point guard Reggie Jackson joined Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, and Kendrick Perkins in the starting unit. The Thunder coasted to a 95-82 win in that game, led by Durant and his 24 points.
Sixers Players Become Coaches for NBA Cares Game
After practice Monday, James Anderson, Rodney Williams, and Nerlens Noel served as coaches for Team Sixers in an NBA Cares Special Olympics game against Team Thunder, which was headed up by Nick Collison, Derek Fisher, Rodney McGruder, and Kevin Durant. The Sixers were aided by legends Dikembe Mutombo and Vlade Divac, while Peja Stojakovic and John Amaechi captained Team Thunder.
“I think it’s great that they do stuff like this,” said rookie Rodney Williams after the game. “I grew up watching the NBA, and a lot of the kids out here have grown up watching us play… so for them to be part of something like this and meet NBA players is great.”