CAMDEN, N.J. — Don’t expect to see Wilson Chandler in the Sixers’ lineup anytime soon.
Head coach Brett Brown said Thursday that Chandler, one the Sixers’ new additions, is “a ways away” from returning to the court after suffering a left hamstring strain in the preseason opener vs. Melbourne United on Sep. 28.
On Sep. 30, Chandler described the injury as a “fluke situation” that occurred on a play when his foot was awkwardly positioned as he chased his man around the screen.
Brown said the Sixers are taking a conservative approach with Chandler.
“We don’t need to rush him back into doing anything,” Brown said. “When his body says he’s ready to play, that’s when he’ll play. There’s no timeline on it from that perspective. I do think, backpedal or fast forward from that Melbourne game, look at a month (out), and I bet you’re probably close.”
A month out from the date of Chandler’s injury would be Oct. 28. At that point, the Sixers would have played six regular-season games.
A new GM
With Elton Brand making the step up from G League GM to Sixers’ general manager, the Delaware Blue Coats filled Brand’s old job on Thursday, hiring Matt Lilly as interim general manager.
Lilly was promoted from his previous role as Blue Coats’ director of basketball operations and scouting.
Lilly’s focus is on having the Blue Coats serve as an effective pipeline for the Sixers.
“Our goal mainly is to have the guys in our program at the start of the year grow throughout the year and be in a better place at the end of it,” he said. “In addition to that, we’d love to win some basketball games. We’re looking for our first playoff berth here in Delaware. We’re really developmental-focused and also looking forward to win some games.”
'Can this continue?'
One of the NBA’s primary points of emphasis for officials this season is having tighter enforcement when defenders restrict movement, both in the post and on the perimeter.
If you watched the Sixers play in the preseason, you were already well aware of that. Whistles are being blown with much greater regularity for minimal off-ball grappling or fighting for position in the post.
The Sixers committed 119 fouls in their four preseason games.
Whether this level of zealous officiating will persist throughout the season remains to be seen.
“Can this continue? It will for a while,” Brown said. “Is this sustainable and will it be called the same way in May?”
Brown gave a sly smile and left the question open.
“Either way, we’re going to play toward how they call the games,” Ben Simmons said. “If they call it a certain way, we’re going to post up and get to the rim and cut — do what we usually do. It favors our team, the way we play. I don’t mind. No matter how they call the game, we’re going to adjust.”
On Friday, Havertown, Pa. native and longtime former NBA official, Joey Crawford, will visit the Sixers to further explain the new points of emphasis to the coaches and players.