Moultrie closer to joining Sixers for first time this season

Posted: January 03, 2014

DENVER - Second-year forward Arnett Moultrie is getting very close to suiting up for the 76ers for the first time this season after having been sidelined since training camp following ankle surgery in September.

For him to get some minutes, Moultrie must get his timing back and get into game shape. If he is to get minutes, perhaps even extended ones, coach Brett Brown said the 23-year-old will have to get rid of the stigma attached to him.

"He's looking just like he should be looking, he's looking really out of place in relation to timing and fitness," Brown said. "We had a solid practice [Tuesday], and the combination of it being quite a different type of practice in between back-to-back games and the altitude exposed what I just said and magnified what I just said. He's looking like he should be looking, kind of out of place and trying to figure stuff out. But you can see when he gets back in shape and having some level of a playing rhythm that he's different. I look forward to bringing him in the mix."

Bereft of quantity big men all season, Brown would certainly welcome Moultrie with open arms, and for him to get those minutes, he had a perfect model to study last night in Denver forward Kenneth Faried, the Nuggets' rebounding machine.

"There is an athleticism and an energy that is different than our group," Brown said. "The trick on Arnett, the knock on Arnett is 'Can you do that? Can you have that Faried motor?' That's what he needs to aspire to be. He needs to be that junkyard dog, an energy guy, that type of toughness. That's his challenge. If he can, he's going to help us, and, down the road, he'll earn a fairly significant income, and he's going to stay in the NBA for a while. Because otherwise, there are a lot of players like Arnett out there that hang around and end up in Istanbul. I think the challenge for him and my challenge to him is I think he could be an NBA keeper, provided he understands his road map, and it needs to be one of fierce competitor and something that's energized."

No, not talking about the new law legalizing recreational use of marijuana that went into effect yesterday in the Mile High City, but rather the altitude and how Brett Brown goes about neutralizing it for his players.

"We've had so much experience from my San Antonio days coming to Denver twice a year," Brown said. "Manu [Ginobili] was probably my greatest teacher, in that he said candidly, 'I can go for a while, but then I need to get out and go back in and play extended minutes.'

"Everybody's body is different. We talk lots about hydration. We talk lots about stretching and again hydration."

Brown put the team through a rigorous workout Tuesday at the University of Denver, hoping to get his young group accustomed to the light air.

"I think the practice we had [Tuesday] got them used to it, especially the young guys and what they are going to experience in the first 5 to 7 minutes when they first come in," he said. "They were knocked around a little bit at the start of it, but we got through it and got our second wind."

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


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