Sixers are 7-3, looking terrific early
While their 7-3 record is due more to their stingy defense and the players' buying into the team-first philosophy, the Sixers have benefited from facing shorthanded teams. Detroit didn't have its starting backcourt; Monta Ellis missed the Golden State game for his grandmother's funeral; and Marcus Thornton (Sacramento), Al Jefferson (Utah), and Danny Granger (Indiana), key players all, missed their team's games vs. the Sixers.
The Sixers, who play home-and-away games with Washington (1-9) on Friday and Saturday, got a taste of this Wednesday at New York, when they showed up without starting center Spencer Hawes. Hawes (lower-back strain) is a game-time decision for Friday night.
If Hawes is unavailable Friday, Collins will probably again go with Tony Battie as the starter and back him up with rookie Nikola Vucevic.
-- Philadelphia Inquirer