Sixers Notes: Sixers president pleased with team's direction

Posted: March 09, 2011

76ers Notes

INDIANAPOLIS - In his first season as 76ers president, Rod Thorn has been pleased with the direction of the team. The Sixers entered Tuesday's game against the Indiana Pacers with 15 wins in their last 20 games.

Thorn said the most impressive aspect has been the team's cohesion on both ends of the court.

"Everybody is sharing the ball, and that has made us a much better team offensively," Thorn said after Tuesday morning's shootaround. "Defensively, we have been solid for most of the year without having a true shot blocker, which is hard to do."

Though the Sixers didn't make a move by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, Thorn said rival executives have been enthusiastic about his players.

"The reputation and value of our players has gone in the opposite direction because of the success of the team," he said.

As with many others, Thorn gives coach Doug Collins plenty of credit for the team's turnaround after a 27-55 season.

"We just have a fun team, our team doesn't have a lot of drama, guys are pretty stable, and it's been a lot of fun to watch the development of the team," Thorn said. He said Collins "has been really good at making sure we focus on what we need, and he is on top of everything that goes on and has done an extraordinary job."

Tough stretch

The Sixers began their final 20 games of the season with a stretch of four games in five days starting with the Pacers. They play Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center against Oklahoma City, Friday at home against Boston, and Saturday at Milwaukee.

"This is the time of the year coming down to the last 20, and we have to use our depth," Collins said. "Our bench has been very good for us the whole year."

Entering Tuesday, the Sixers reserves were scoring a league-best 40.4 points per game.

A different voice

Before Tuesday's game, the Pacers were 10-8 under interim coach Frank Vogel, the 1991 Wildwood graduate who replaced the fired Jim O'Brien on Jan. 30.

"He is more open to letting us have a voice," Pacers center Roy Hibbert said. "Coach O'Brien ran things his way, and Frank is running things his way. I feel more comfortable with Frank."

- Marc Narducci

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