For 76ers, many bright spots in a preseason win

Posted: October 18, 2012

Dorell Wright is not expected to be a starter this season for the 76ers, but he showed Wednesday night that he could excel in that role or any other coach Doug Collins has in mind.

Acquired from Golden State in a three-team trade, the 6-foot-9 Wright provides something the Sixers were severely lacking last season - a consistent perimeter game.

Starting for the first time in his third preseason appearance for the Sixers, Wright scored 17 points in a 113-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Wells Fargo Center.

"Dorell Wright played great and was our ace of spades tonight," Collins said.

Wright has a reputation as a three-point shooter, but Collins said there is much more to his game.

"When guys run at him, he can make plays off the dribble," Collins said. "I don't know where people thought he was a one-dimensional player, but he is a very skilled player with good instincts and is unselfish."

Wright started in place of Jason Richardson, who was given the night off. "J-Rich has a little tendinitis in his knee," said Collins, who added: "He wants to play the last two back-to-back games."

The Sixers will play exhibitions Sunday in Boston and Monday against the New York Knicks at Syracuse's Carrier Dome.

Wright started 143 out of 148 games the previous two seasons with Golden State, but he is slated to come off what looks like a deep Sixers bench.

Then again, Wright is familiar with being a reserve. During his first six NBA seasons with the Miami Heat, he made a total of 56 starts.

Wright, who turns 27 in December, said he can adjust to coming off the bench.

"I am playing with a group of guys who want to win, a young, hungry group," he said. "It's been fun so far and I like our opportunity to be a good team in the East this year."

Against the Cavs, he showed more than just a jump shot, with a nice shake-and-bake drive to the basket, scoring with his left hand in the first quarter.

Wright shot 6 of 9 from the field and 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. 

Wayns rolling

Rookie Maalik Wayns (Villanova) continued his strong preseason with 19 points. He is now averaging 13 per game.

"I have great vets and great teammates who believe in me and they have total confidence in me, so it just gives me more confidence in myself," Wayns said.

Collins said Wayns needed to improve when he's not in transition. "He has to be better when we are in a half-court game," he said. "He is a tremendous fastbreak player, but has to be able to run the team as a quarterback." 

Short shots

Besides Richardson and Andrew Bynum (right knee), Kwame Brown (left calf strain) was inactive. . . . South Philadelphia's Dion Waiters, the No. 4 overall pick in the NBA draft, started for Cleveland and scored five points on 2-for-9 shooting. . . . Center-forward Micheal Eric, the Temple product signed as a rookie free agent by Cleveland, did not play (coach's decision). . . . The Sixers resume action on Friday in the new Barclays Center against the Brooklyn Nets. . . . The biggest crowd-pleaser was Thaddeus Young's one-handed follow-up jam of a missed Wright shot in the third quarter. . . . The Sixers were 12 for 25 from three-point range. . . . Nick Young shared team-high honors with 19 points. 


Contact Marc Narducci at  mnarducci@phillynews.com or on Twitter @sjnard.

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