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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.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Sixers notebook

By Jack McCaffery
PHILADELPHIA >> For two-plus years, Brett Brown has guided his Sixers through one massive snow job. What is one more?
So there he was Friday, after practice at PCOM, promising to be prepared to coach whenever asked. Turned out, that will be Sunday.
In a hedge against a possible snowstorm, the Saturday game against the visiting Boston Celtics was postponed and instead will be played Sunday night at 7.
“There are contingency plans all over the place,” Brown said. “We will be ready for whatever the league decides is in the best interest of the players and the fans.”
The NBA made the call later Friday, also postponing the Jazz game in Washington.
“Hopefully the roads will be clear,” Ish Smith said. “If not, I will be driving 10 miles an hour. Just don't be behind me, honking at me.”
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The one-day delay could benefit the Sixers, who were unlikely to have Nik Stauskas available Saturday.
Though Stauskas practiced Friday, he was still bothered by a left-shoulder injury suffered Jan. 14 in a game against Chicago. He has missed the last three games.
“It still isn't comfortable for him,” Brown said. “As far as the medical explanation, I can't give that. I can tell you that he does not feel comfortable. But when anybody tells you that they don't feel comfortable, I don't want to force-feed anything. We're not at that stage. It's not Game 7. You want get him healthy and take care of his health.
“We talk about it all the time. He doesn't feel comfortable. So we will continue to try to get him rehabbed.”
Since the injury, Stauskas has insisted there have been no additional complications. He warmed up early before a game Monday in New York, and has practiced. If anything, by Friday, the Sixers admitted through a spokesman that they were erroring on the side of caution when it came to declaring Stauskas as “doubtful” for Saturday. The delay, then, would provide at least another 24 hours of therapy.
“When he moved, you could tell it felt uncomfortable with some passing situations and trying to navigate through screens,” Brown said. “You can see that there is some trepidation with the way he is moving around.”
In the absence of Stauskas, Isaiah Canaan has played more shooting-guard minutes, as has Jerami Grant and Robert Covington.
“That's part of having a team,” Brown said, “and the depth we currently have.”
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Nerlens Noel played just 19 minutes Wednesday in Orlando, then complained of headaches and blurred vision. By Friday, he was practicing and was ready to play against the Celtics.
“Hopefully, it will be all the way gone by (Saturday),” Noel said. “I just had a little achiness. I can't really describe it. I took some medicine and it went away. Halfway through practice I was feeling all right, but hopefully it will all be gone.”
Noel had similar problems last season.
“I had some headaches,” he said. “They last for a few days. But I don't think it's a big deal at all. I am ready to play.”
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JaKarr Sampson, who suffered a hip pointer in the first quarter of the victory in Orlando, will face the Celtics, Brown said.


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February 13, 2016 at 12:22 PM 
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