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Jan 02 2014

Everything’s coming up Sixers

Well, maybe not everything. But the team is on a two-game winning streak (!), healthy, and about to get near full-strength, with its top win producer (per 48) from last year’s squad expected to return later this month.

Arnett Moultrie, a second-year player out of Mississippi State, participated in five-on-five scrimmages Tuesday for the first time since preseason surgery on his left ankle, Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reports. For a team short on depth and competing in a historically weak division, this is significant.

Last season in only 47 games and 542 minutes — many of which came in garbage time — Moultrie’s rebounding rate (15.1) was the best on the team and his field goal percentage was through the roof (58.2). At times he looked like the most talented big man on the floor, and at times he looked lost, but that’s exactly what you’d expect from a 27th overall pick.

Brett Brown wants the 6-foot-10, 240-pound power forward to work on his conditioning.

Via Pompey:

“The knock on Arnett is: Can you do that?” Brown said of bringing consistent energy. “Is that how you play? Is that your [Denver power forward Kenneth] Faried motor? … That’s what he needs to aspire to be. He needs to be a junkyard dog, energy guy. That type of toughness. That’s his challenge.”

If Moultrie can build on what he did last season in an expanded role, the Sixers will have another legitimate big man on their hands.

They’ll also, for better or worse, be one step closer to sneaking into the playoffs. Brown’s squad is 8-7 when Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, and Michael Carter-Williams are all in the lineup. Look out, Eastern Conference.

  • robbybonfire23

    Wonderful to see appreciation for Moultrie, here, and to know that he figures in the team’s plans, when he is cleared to resume play. He has to help, just by his forceful presence and his established level of production.