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By PHIL JASNER
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In retrospect, it's almost comical to ask Randy Ayers whether he is contemplating changing his starting lineup. The 76ers coach already has done that 15 times.

In that regard, he has made more game-time decisions than Derrick Coleman.

But, as the Sixers made preparations to face the Memphis Grizzlies this afternoon, Ayers made this much clear: Any time Coleman is available to play, he will start.

Even though Coleman has had to bow out 13 times this season because of continuing problems with his left knee, and even though Samuel Dalembert has put together excellent back-to-back performances against Orlando and Dallas, that policy remains in effect.

"If Derrick is available and can play, Derrick will always start," Ayers said after practice yesterday at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. "I think Derrick is a starter. You go with him; he's warmed up, he's ready to go."

Ayers, though, faces a different decision today, because power forward Kenny Thomas is struggling with a high right-ankle sprain suffered in Monday's victory in Orlando. Thomas no longer was wearing the protective boot that was in place as he watched Wednesday night's double-overtime loss in Dallas, but seemed unlikely to be ready to face the Grizzlies.

Ayers conceivably could use Dalembert at center and Coleman at power forward, as he has done three times before. With Coleman out, Dalembert has recorded career highs in points and rebounds in back-to-back efforts; he had 15 points and 11 rebounds against the Magic, then had 24 points and 16 rebounds in a career-high 54 (of a possible 58) minutes against the Mavs. In the last five games, Dalembert has pieced together 67 points, 52 rebounds and 16 blocks, shooting 28-for-45 from the floor, becoming increasingly effective hurling down dunks on back-door lob passes.

"He had 17 shots, 24 points and 16 rebounds, and we didn't call a single play for him, except the last one at the end," point guard Eric Snow said. He did everything else by athletic ability, talent and being in the right places, the right spots.

"He can be every bit as good as a Theo Ratliff [a former Sixer] or a Ben Wallace if he continues to learn and get better. That's saying a lot as far as Wallace [Detroit's forward/center], because he's been a consistent All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year; the one thing Ben has on [Dalembert] is, he really understands the game...He's sort of a big man with kind of a guard mentality. Sam's every bit as athletic as him, and every bit as good a shot blocker, he just needs to maybe study [Wallace's] tapes."

The Sixers are 9-5 when Dalembert starts, but Ayers doesn't want to give him too much, too soon.

"We'll see how he keeps developing," Ayers said. "The thing I love about him is, he's been able to put back-to-back rebounding games together. I'm not ready to put him in there full time, but if he continues to get better, it's something we have to think about. If he continues to improve defensively, he makes everybody better; [with that] I think you have confidence to get out on the court and really pressure people."
 

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Originally posted by <b>RoyWilliams</b>!
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By PHIL JASNER
[email protected]

In retrospect, it's almost comical to ask Randy Ayers whether he is contemplating changing his starting lineup. The 76ers coach already has done that 15 times.

In that regard, he has made more game-time decisions than Derrick Coleman.

But, as the Sixers made preparations to face the Memphis Grizzlies this afternoon, Ayers made this much clear: Any time Coleman is available to play, he will start.

Even though Coleman has had to bow out 13 times this season because of continuing problems with his left knee, and even though Samuel Dalembert has put together excellent back-to-back performances against Orlando and Dallas, that policy remains in effect.

"If Derrick is available and can play, Derrick will always start," Ayers said after practice yesterday at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. "I think Derrick is a starter. You go with him; he's warmed up, he's ready to go."

Ayers, though, faces a different decision today, because power forward Kenny Thomas is struggling with a high right-ankle sprain suffered in Monday's victory in Orlando. Thomas no longer was wearing the protective boot that was in place as he watched Wednesday night's double-overtime loss in Dallas, but seemed unlikely to be ready to face the Grizzlies.

Ayers conceivably could use Dalembert at center and Coleman at power forward, as he has done three times before. With Coleman out, Dalembert has recorded career highs in points and rebounds in back-to-back efforts; he had 15 points and 11 rebounds against the Magic, then had 24 points and 16 rebounds in a career-high 54 (of a possible 58) minutes against the Mavs. In the last five games, Dalembert has pieced together 67 points, 52 rebounds and 16 blocks, shooting 28-for-45 from the floor, becoming increasingly effective hurling down dunks on back-door lob passes.

"He had 17 shots, 24 points and 16 rebounds, and we didn't call a single play for him, except the last one at the end," point guard Eric Snow said. He did everything else by athletic ability, talent and being in the right places, the right spots.

"He can be every bit as good as a Theo Ratliff [a former Sixer] or a Ben Wallace if he continues to learn and get better. That's saying a lot as far as Wallace [Detroit's forward/center], because he's been a consistent All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year; the one thing Ben has on [Dalembert] is, he really understands the game...He's sort of a big man with kind of a guard mentality. Sam's every bit as athletic as him, and every bit as good a shot blocker, he just needs to maybe study [Wallace's] tapes."

The Sixers are 9-5 when Dalembert starts, but Ayers doesn't want to give him too much, too soon.

"We'll see how he keeps developing," Ayers said. "The thing I love about him is, he's been able to put back-to-back rebounding games together. I'm not ready to put him in there full time, but if he continues to get better, it's something we have to think about. If he continues to improve defensively, he makes everybody better; [with that] I think you have confidence to get out on the court and really pressure people."
i agree with that . but the best is put the 2 players at start coleman at sf i thing and dalamber at C . Dalamber impressed all league with points and blocks and rebounds and he are in great moment. and i fell that in this game the better to do is put dalamber at start because coleman go of one injury and dalamber are in great moment .
 

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Fomer Admins are Kewl!
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Re: Re: DC Still Starter At Center

This is signing is coming back to bite the Sixers in the butt. I knew this would happen. Out 6-8 weeks. Jeez. They couldnt find anything else to wast $15 million on.
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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It's a three year deal. I'm guessing it's a tax write off, because I can't figure another reason to give an over the hill player that much money.

I've got some mixed feelings with this team, should we make a run to the playoffs and go into next season with the same team? Or do we play things out, and if we miss the postseason, shake things up?

We have our draft pick this season, and currently it's a lottery pick, I'd love to be able to get a young player with potential to grow into something, while adding size to the team. Also, by missing the playoffs maybe we can lose Randy Ayers, who has this ongoing lovefest with Amal McCaskill.

I'm never for a team tanking a season, but there's so much wrong with this team, so many bad contracts, that something has to be done to clean things up.

-Tim
 

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Amal have to go for other team or simpli go . i cant believe that we cant go to the playoffs . and yes are bad contracts like amal and todd .and we have to do something . one young player with potential it would be great . and all the teams are trading players and we cant trade anyone and you have to see that this season we lose games because the injurys and the coach are ´´new´´ .
 

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Fomer Admins are Kewl!
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We have to get rid of Ayers. Hes a terrible X's and O's guy. Hs substitution patterns are the worst I've seen. We have to find a way to get rid of some of these terrible contracts.
 

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ayers isnt the worst coach but if the sixers want i would like to be a sixers coach , lol . because in my school im the coach . and i cant say more things about randy because the portuguese tv dont show the sixers games . you can provide me tapes of sixers for free ?
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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Originally posted by <b>BEEZ</b>!
We have to get rid of Ayers. Hes a terrible X's and O's guy. Hs substitution patterns are the worst I've seen. We have to find a way to get rid of some of these terrible contracts.
I really have to agree here BEEZ, the problem is we have so many of them that it'll be hard to find someone willing to take them on without us scraping the whole thing.

Right about now, I'm wondering if that would be that bad of a thing with how things are going. We have players on this team that simply don't mesh, and a coach who simply can't coach. All I can say right about now is, thanks Billy King, thank you very much.

-Tim
 

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Fomer Admins are Kewl!
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Originally posted by <b>PhillyPhanatic</b>!


I really have to agree here BEEZ, the problem is we have so many of them that it'll be hard to find someone willing to take them on without us scraping the whole thing.

Right about now, I'm wondering if that would be that bad of a thing with how things are going. We have players on this team that simply don't mesh, and a coach who simply can't coach. All I can say right about now is, thanks Billy King, thank you very much.

-Tim
I used to go to bat for Billy King but he also has to be the worst GM in all of basketball. There is no excuse for what he has given the fans of Philly
 

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Originally posted by <b>KL Dawger</b>!


Or a cheap crappy player, really crappy, REALLY REALLY crappy.
dont day that . and about billy king i have to agree that is one of the worsts gm in actuality if not the worst and about randy in the moment isnt the best coach for our team .
 
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