Ed Stefanski

stood on the corner of the 76ers' home floor before last night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers and answered questions about why his team has failed to live up to big expectations.

"We're obviously not happy we are 8-10," said Stefanski, the Sixers' president and general manager. "No one in this locker room is happy, but I'm not going to say we're shocked that we're 8-10."

Stefanski said he, coach Maurice Cheeks, and everyone involved needed to "keep tinkering" rather than make a sudden move.

The off-season acquisition of power forward Elton Brand has shifted the identity of last-season's run-and-gun squad.

"We expect to be a good basketball team," Stefanski said. "We threw all our eggs in one basketball - Elton Brand - and I would do it again in a New York second."

The addition of Brand shifted Andre Iguodala to shooting guard, where he had struggled through 18 games entering last night, shooting 25 percent from the three-point line and averaging 13.7 points.

Does Stefanski think Iguodala is the answer at shooting guard?

"I think it's too early to say what guy we would like to see replaced," Stefanski said. "We've asked a lot of A.I., moving him."

But Stefanski did say the Sixers are always looking at ways to make the team better, always talking to teams about potential options. Stefanski also said a team can "never have too much shooting."

Yesterday, the 8-9 Toronto Raptors fired head coach Sam Mitchell.

"I am kind of surprised at that," said Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks. "I thought he was doing a good job, but this is the business we get into."

Added Cheeks: "If we're not doing as well as some people think we should, things happen."

Free throws

Lou Williams

played last night and had 15 points off the bench. He had been listed as day-to-day after suffering a right abdominal strain in Tuesday's win in Chicago.

- Kate Fagan