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Thank Goodness For Pete Carril

`The Sacramento assistant and former Princeton coach says the 76ers need a point guard. Who didn't know that?

I'm shocked.

Shocked, I tell you.

The 76ers need a point guard. Pete Carril, the Sacramento Kings assistant and former Princeton coach, says the 76ers could be a better team with a point guard. (And, no, it doesn't necessarily have to have been Andre Miller.)

The Sixers have tried to tell us that, in coach Eddie Jordan's version of the Princeton offense (even though we haven't seen a lot of it), a two-guard front makes up for the lack of a designated point guard. But in the Sixers' remarkable victories in Portland and Sacramento, it was clear that, most of the time, either Jrue Holiday or Lou Williams or Allen Iverson was at the point, directing things. Worked nicely, didn't it? Might be nice if someone had that as a fulltime job.

Which brings us to tonight's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Just a few quick thoughts:

Is it me, or is Iverson playing a style that we haven't seen before? He's getting his offensive opportunities, but he's distributing the ball, he's doing his best to keep Samuel Dalembert involved. (Premise: Get the big man a few touches at one end, he's more likely to bust his butt at the other end.) I don't think he's playing that way to insure that his contract will be guaranteed Jan. 10. He might not like his limited minutes, but he has to like the results.

Is it me, or does Iverson seem more comfortable with Elton Brand than he ever was with Chris Webber? It's early, but it seems as if Iverson-Brand can be successful. I remember Webber's debut in Philadelphia: As Iverson stepped on the court together for the first time, I heard Iverson say ''Come on, Chris, let's make history.'' For whatever reasons, they never did.

Is it me, or does Brand seem like an angry (in the best sense of the word) young man? He's making his first appearance with the Sixers against his former team in L.A. (he has faced them twice in the Wachovia Center), and it just seems as if he wants to prove he's far better than some team's sixth or seventh man. And if he has to be that tonight, it seems as if he wants to be the best one he can be..

In any case, happy new year and good hoops everyone.