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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.

Monday, May 14, 2012


BOSTON --- After reporting on his injured neck Sunday, Elton Brand joked that he was fearful of a pending visit from the Celtics' chiropractor.
"I hope," the Sixers forward said, laughing out loud, "he doesn't try to make it worse."
A day later, still having mild fun with the topic, Brand reported some mild positive news.
"He was good," Brand said, smiling. "Very professional."
Despite those good intentions and professional touch, Brand still felt sore Monday morning. He stressed, though, that he will play in Game 2 Monday night despite what the Sixers reported as a strain of the third cervical on his left side.
Brand was dressed for and participated fully in what Doug Collins reported was a very light morning but private walk-through and shooting practice.
"It's just the left side of your body, reaching up for rebounds and stuff," Brand said. "But I'll be fine shooting and I'll be fine rebounding and playing defense. As long as I can run and jump, I'll be fine. And I will play."
That means the Sixers will be fully staffed for Game 2, which starts at 7 p.m. in the TD Garden. Thad Young, who injured his right ankle in a 92-91 Game 1 loss Saturday, also participated in the shoot-around Monday. Afterward, the forward had his right shin iced in a non-related issue.
"I'm cool," Young said. "I'll play."
That completes the physical report. Mentally? Hmmm.
Collins, on the Sixers' confidence: "I thought we played well in Game 1. I told our guys that against a team like the Celtics and at this level of play in the second round, you can't have a seven-minute, 53-second stretch where you are up 13 and you've got a pretty good grip on the game going into halftime and then have a 1-for-14 stretch with four turnovers where we missed three or four very make-able shots. And they went 10-for-15 in that stretch. So they hit us, 21-4, and they shot 67 percent. We were 1-for-14 with four turnovers. You've got to stay away from those kind of droughts."
The Sixers are expected to keep a firmer defensive grip on Kevin Garnett who burned then for 29 Game 1 points, and to be more aggressive driving to the basket. In Game 1, they shot 20 free throws and believe they need to visit the line more regularly.
"We have to get to the line," Andre Iguodala said. "We didn't get to the line as much as we wanted in Game 1. We have to attack a little more tonight."


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