On Thursday, for the first time since May 26, when the 76ers were eliminated by the host Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Sixers return to action.
The Sixers are scheduled to play the first of seven preseason games in Orlando against the Magic.
And while playing a preseason game may seem like a mundane exercise, the Sixers and coach Doug Collins couldn't be more eager to get going.
That is because the team has been working out since Oct. 2, and the players have been pounding on each other in some physical practices.
"I am getting tired of beating on Lavoy [Allen], Spencer [Hawes], Kwame [Brown], and the rest of those guys," said Sixers forward Thaddeus Young. "Little old me beating up on them."
And make no mistake, the scrimmages have been physical.
"The tempers are starting to flare a little bit because you are tired of guys holding you, overplaying the plays, and you are ready to play against somebody else," swingman Jason Richardson said.
With Andrew Bynum expected to miss the seven preseason games while resting his knees, Collins guessed that Thursday's starting lineup could be Brown, Hawes, Richardson, Evan Turner, and Jrue Holiday.
Brown, the 12th-year center, didn't participate in contact Wednesday because of back spasms. But Collins said he will be fine. However, if Brown is not ready for the Orlando game, Collins said that rookie Arnett Moultrie could start at center.
Silas, Moore waived. The Sixers waived guard Xavier Silas and center Mikki Moore, trimming the roster to 16. Collins lauded the work of both players, but said it was a numbers situation. "I wanted to give him a chance to plan his future," Collins said of Silas.
On the radio. The team announced that all regular- season games and Saturday's preseason game against Brooklyn will be broadcast on WPEN-FM (97.5). All preseason games, including Saturday's, will be broadcast on ESPN-AM (950).