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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


BOSTON --- Even as the Sixers prepared Saturday to play Game 7 of a second-round playoff series against the Celtics at the TD Garden, their highest of higher-ups were declaring some measure of victory.
No matter what happens now, Doug Collins said, the Sixers are better for the playoff experience.
And no matter what happens now, team president Rod Thorn said, Philadelphia will be a more appealing option for any possible NBA free agent.
“To me, a Game 7 is worth 10 regular season games when you talk about the magnitude of the game and the chance to move into another round,” Collins said after a morning shoot-around. “I sort of chuckle at those who said that they wanted us to not make the playoffs and get the 12th pick in the draft instead of 15. I never understood that mentality and I wonder how they feel about it now that our guys have played, have had some success and have grown?”
If the Sixers have improved on the court, their appeal has grown elsewhere, Thorn said. And that growth could be of value during the offseason.
“I think so,” Thorn said. “Any time that you show that you have a pretty good team, it helps. With most players, it's about money but it's also about, 'I want to play on a team that has a chance to do something.' So I think any time that you show that you have a good team and do something in the playoffs it helps you recruiting free agents.”
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The Sixers are to play the Celtics at 8. Their shoot-around Saturday, while closed to the press, apparently was low-key. Afterward, however, Elton Brand took extra shooting without any bandages on his sore neck and shoulder.
For the first time in the series, Brand said he is feeling some relief.
“Yeah,” he said. “The team chiropractor is doing a lot. So we are doing some stuff. It's lightening up, some, for sure.”
The chiropractors are relieving some pain in Brand's neck. The Sixers hope their overall attitude limits the other pain-in-the-neck that any win-or-else situation would provide.
“It's just a game,” Evan Turner said. “We have nothing to lose. Whatever is going to be is going to be. I got to meet Floyd Mayweather in Orlando at the All-Star Game and he told me he never gets nervous about losing as long as he is prepared and stuff. It's going to be what it is going to me. You are never asked to win a game but you are asked to battle throughout a game. And whatever happens, happens.”


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