Brown to start at center in Sixers' first preseason game
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Sixers held their first shootaround at Amway Arena Thursday morning in preparation for their first preseason game against the Magic. Kwame Brown, who experienced back spasms on Wednesday, will start at center.
Brown joins Spencer Hawes in the frontcourt. Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Jason Richardson will start on the perimeter.
Doug Collins will play 11 guys. The four players who will sit include Royal Ivey, Devin Searcy, Damien Wilkins and Dan Gadzuric.
Andrew Bynum did not make the trip and continues to rehab. The target date for his to return is still set for a week before the regular season opens on Oct. 31.
“I am a firm believer in exhibition," Collins said. "If you try to play too many guys, and they don’t get out there to play ... I rather guys get out there and get minutes. I want Maalik [Wayns] to get minutes. I want [Arnett] Moultrie to play. I want Kwame to start and go six hard minutes, and then, depending on how things go, get him six minutes in the second quarter.”
Brown will play between 12 and 18 minutes total. Having missed almost all of last season, the coaching staff wants to build his minutes up.
Collins will play no one more than 24 minutes, except possibly Jason Richardson, who played the previous two seasons in Orlando and is an 11-year veteran. Collins was going to defer to him on how many minutes he wanted to play.
“I enjoyed my two years here,” Richardson said, also admitting he was not surprised when he was told he was traded by the Magic this past summer, when they dealt Dwight Howard to the Lakers. “I did what I was capable of doing when I was here, and now I am looking forward to a great year with Philadelphia.”
Playing against the Sixers will be Maurice Harkless, the Sixers' first-round draft pick this past June who, along with Nik Vucevic, was traded to Orlando in the four-team deal that landed Andrew Bynum.
“Very skilled big man,” Doug Collins said of Vucevic, who played his rookie season with the Sixers. “He has a very soft touch around the basket. He can shoot the three and he has a very bright future. We really liked Nik at the draft camp the year we drafted him so they got a nice young piece in the trade.”E-mail Dei Lynam at email@example.com