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Overstating The Case?

New coach Tony DiLeo is convinced the 76ers can run with the best of them.

Tony DiLeo has coached one game and directed two full practices, and this is what the 19-year veteran of the organization sees:

''It's right in the season, (so) we can't change a lot of things. We're just trying to adjust. Yes, we're putting in some new things, but we don't want to completely change things around.

''When we get out in the open court, we're a great team. I mean, we're really, really good. We're trying to pur oursleves in situations to get in the open court, and that includes our defense. If we can improve that, and our rebounding . . . ''

I think the Sixers clearly are at their best when they run, but I struggle with ''great'' being attached to a team that is 10-14.

Still, in an effort to make the necessary adjustments as clear and specific as possible, DiLeo began having individual meetings with the players, including some just hours after being named Saturday as the successor to the fired Maurice Cheeks. Those meetings continued after today's practice.

To me, that means no player is going to be able to say he doesn't know his role.

Hey, DiLeo has to st art somewhere. Why not there?