Friday , Dec , 03 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Fratello to make Memphis debut

Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Mike Fratello will make his coaching debut
with the Memphis Grizzlies tonight, as they attempt to stop a five-game skid
against the Philadelphia 76ers at FedExForum.

Fratello, who is replacing the now-retired Hubie Brown, has tallied a 572-462
career record in 13 seasons as an NBA head coach. For the past five years, the
“Czar of the Telestrator” has worked with NBC and most recently with TNT in
the broadcast booth.

Taking the top assistant position for the Grizzlies is heir apparent Eric
Musselman, who was the Warriors’ head man for the past two seasons and
compiled an overall mark of 75-89. Musselman anchored Golden State to a 17-
game improvement in his first year at the helm.

Memphis has been on a downward spiral as of late, dropping five in a row on
the heels of winning five of seven. The Grizzlies’ woes continued on Wednesday
in the form of a 90-82 loss to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Bonzi Wells led the Grizzlies with 16 points, while Lorenzen Wright added 12
points and Pau Gasol tacked on 14 rebounds and 11 points. Mike Miller chipped
in 11 points off the bench in the loss.

Point guard Jason Williams was a last-minute addition to the Memphis starting
lineup. He missed the Grizzlies’ game Tuesday night due to a sprained right
index finger. He tallied nine points and nine assists in 31 minutes.

Memphis shot 42.1 percent from the field, including just 26.7 percent (4-
of-15) from three-point range. The Grizzlies hit 14-of-18 from the charity
stripe in the contest.

The Grizzlies, who have two of their next three at home, are 3-5 at FedExForum
this season.

Philadelphia hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire lately, losing two
straight and five of its last seven contests. The 76ers hit rock bottom on
Wednesday night, falling 105-72 to the San Antonio Spurs at SBC Center.

The Sixers shot just 35 percent from the field, including 3-of-8 (.375) from
three-point range. Philadelphia did hit 13-of-15 shots from the charity

Marc Jackson led the Sixers with 18 points, while Allen Iverson added just 14
points in the defeat. No other Philadelphia player registered double figures
in scoring.

The 76ers turned the ball over 18 times leading to 17 San Antonio points in
the defeat. Philadelphia lost the rebounding war, 44-37, and assist count,

Philadelphia forward Corliss Williamson left with 9:02 remaining in the second
quarter with a mild sprain of his left knee. Williamson has been judged out
for tonight’s game but could return Saturday against Houston.

Philadelphia is just 1-5 on the road this year and continues its four-game
road swing tonight.

Memphis won both meetings between these teams last season and has won four of
the last six overall. Nonetheless, the Sixers have taken 12 of the past 16
meetings in the series, including six of their last eight at the Grizzlies.