Thursday , Feb , 24 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Philadelphia 76ers Team Report – February 24

=== Philadelphia 76ers Team Report – February 24 ===

(Sports Network) – Allen Iverson finally has a comparable wingman, but it is
unknown if the recently acquired Chris Webber will be in uniform for
Philadelphia’s contest against the New York Knicks tonight at Madison Square
Garden.

Just 20 hours before Thursday’s trade deadline, the Sixers pulled off a
blockbuster deal, acquiring Webber and reserve forwards Matt Barnes and
Michael Bradley from Sacramento in exchange for forwards Kenny Thomas, Corliss
Williamson and Brian Skinner.

Webber did not make this year’s All-Star squad, but was leading the Kings in
scoring and rebounding with averages of 21.3 points and 9.7 boards in 46
games. Meanwhile, Barnes (3.8 points, 3.1 rebounds) and the much-traveled
Bradley (1.5 points, 1.6 rebounds) were throw-ins to make the trade happen.

Sacramento did the deal to shed Webber’s monstrous contract (three years and
$62 million), while Philadelphia is interested in taking control of a weak
Atlantic Division and making a run at the Eastern Conference title. The Sixers
are in a virtual tie for first place with Boston in the Atlantic.

Philadelphia may be playing shorthanded tonight if Webber, Barnes and Bradley
don’t get to the Big Apple in time for the contest. The Sixers gave up three
solid forwards in Thomas (11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds), Williamson (10.8 points,
3.8 rebounds) and Skinner (2.0 points, 2.6 rebounds) in the deal.

Philadelphia general manager Billy King remained busy on Wednesday afternoon,
as he dealt Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson to New Orleans for forwards Rodney Rogers
and Jamal Mashburn. Robinson, who is making $13 million in the final year of
his contract, had yet to play this season for the Sixers due to personal and
ankle problems.

Meanwhile, Mashburn (knee) is expected to be out for the season and will
likely retire prior to the final year of his contract. Insurance is supposed
to cover all of Mashburn’s current $9.1 million season and 80 percent of the
$10.1 million owed to him next season.

Rogers, who is the only useful piece in the deal, has posted 9,2 points and
4.7 rebounds per game this season. The thick forward is known for his prowess
from the perimeter, but his three-point shooting has slipped to a career-low
27 percent this season.

The Sixers entered the All-Star break on a low note, as they dropped an ugly
93-75 decision to the Detroit Pistons at the Wachovia Center. Iverson paced
the 76ers with a game-high 23 points, while Williamson scored 14 points in the
Sixers’ first loss in four games.

Thomas had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers, who made just 39 percent
of their shots. Philadelphia also committed 18 turnovers which led to 19
Detroit points in the poor effort.

Philadelphia, which has two of its next three games on the road, is 11-17 in
foreign buildings this season. The Sixers have lost four of six and seven of
their last 10 road tilts overall.

The Sixers have been solid within the Atlantic this season, going 6-3 while
posting a 18-12 mark versus the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia snapped a three-game series losing streak with a 106-105 victory
over the Knicks on Valentine’s Day. However, the Knicks have won seven of the
last nine meetings in the series overall. Philadelphia has dropped its last
four trips to the Big Apple.

The Sixers will finish up their two-game week against the Kings at the
Wachovia Center on Saturday night. Philadelphia will then have two days off
before facing Milwaukee at the Bradley Center on Tuesday evening.

PHI