Throw Your Hands in the Ayres

This past week, first year head coach Eddie Jordan added Randy Ayres to the list of 76ers assistant coaches.  He joins the likes of associate head coach Mike O’Koren and fellow assistants Jim Lynam and Aaron McKie.  Ayres is a nice addition to the Sixers coaching staff and looks to make improvements on the defensive side of the ball, his supposed specialty.  He worked alongside Jordan as assistant coach with the Wizards organization and helped lead a turnaround of epic proportions.  The Wizards defense allowed nearly 105 points per game in the year prior to Ayres’ arrival and only allowed 99 points per game in his first year as assistant coach.  He had similar results as assistant coach of the Orlando Magic as well.  In 2004, the year prior to Ayres’ arrival, the Magic allowed just under 102 points per game.  In 2005, Ayres’ first year with the team, they allowed only 96 points per game; and in his last year, 2006, they allowed just 94 points per game.  As you can see, his successes as a defensive specialist have been well documented.  Ayres is also no stranger to Philadelphia, in fact he is quite a familiar face.  He served on the 76ers coaching staff for six seasons, before landing a job with Orlando.  He served a short term as head coach during the 2003-2004 season and served as head assistant coach to Larry Brown for 6 seasons.  In those six seasons, the Sixers made five straight playoff appearances and one NBA Finals appearance in 2001, although an embarrassing 4-1 exit at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers.  The bottom line is, Randy Ayres is no stranger to success, especially on the defensive side of the ball.  He is definitely a great addition to the Sixers coaching staff and hopefully his defensive improvements are what the Sixers need to get them to the next level.  We can only hope so since it seems that the front office has their hands tied behind their backs as far as any big acquisitions this summer.

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