Sixers Notes: Battie: A leader from the bench

Posted: February 05, 2011


76ers Notes

Tony Battie doesn't play much for the 76ers.

Entering Friday night's game against the New York Knicks, Battie had only played in 27 of the team's 48 games, averaging 10 minutes and 2.8 points.

But Battie does other things. He carries himself with poise, he communicates on the bench, and in the locker room, and he has an effect on the youngsters on this Sixers' squad.

"Some of these guys are still learning the ropes of the league - the brotherhood part of the fraternity, I guess you could say," said Battie, 34, who is in his 13th NBA season. "I had guys when I came in the league that helped me out, so I guess you can say it's kind of like a revolving door."

In terms of specific X's and O's, Battie tried to explain what he does with Marreese Speights, the team's third-year big man. In certain games, Battie explained, coach Doug Collins may have a shorter leash than other games, often because of the opponent. If in the team's scouting report a pick and roll is guarded one way for one guy, another way for another, Collins won't wait long for a player to make that on-court adjustment.

"Mo can't allow the other team to score two buckets before he figures out what's going on defensively," Battie said. " . . . It puts him behind the eight ball and Coach is a little more hesitant to go with him."

A meaningful game

It's been just about a decade since the New York Knicks and Sixers met in a meaningful game, a game with playoff implications. Entering Friday night, the Knicks were in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, holding a 25-23 record. The Sixers were in the seventh spot, holding a 22-26 record.

Before the game, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said he doesn't care what playoff spot his team snags, as long as it snags one. Asked the same question, Collins circled back around and offered some analysis.

"Now, all of a sudden, people are talking about us with relevancy, which is nice," Collins said. "The fact that they would even ask a question about where we'd like to be seeded - this time last year between us it would be, 'Who's going to get the highest pick?' "


Knicks forward Wilson Chandler, who was probable before the game with a sore left calf, was on the active roster but did not start. On the season, Chandler has started 29 games and is averaging 16.8 points and 6.1 rebounds.

- Kate Fagan

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