Bradley gets rough introduction, but kicks in with 16 rebounds


MIAMI -- His first night in the NBA did not go kindly for Shawn Bradley.

Matched much of the time against veteran Rony Seikaly, the Philadelphia 76ers' 7-foot-6 rookie was taught his share of lessons in a predictably uneven 101-84 loss to the Miami Heat.

Lesson number one was that there are certain shots that not even someone with Bradley's size and reach can get away with in the NBA.

He finished with three baskets in 21 shot attempts for 12 points, and turned over the ball eight times. He had several balls stolen or blocked by Seikaly.

Most of all, his moves developed too slowly for his shot -- be it a short-armed hook or an awkward face-up jumper -- to come off smoothly.

But the big boy had his highlights, too, as in 16 rebounds and five blocked shots. He forced Seikaly out of the game on fouls with more than 10 minutes left. And he got up and walked away from being knocked down to the hardwood floor, courtesy of Seikaly and John Salley.

"I expected to get welcomed, and I did," Bradley said. "I got knocked down a couple times, but I showed everyone that I come out there to play, and I had a lot of fun. I got the wind knocked out of me a few times out there, but other than that, I thought it went pretty well."

"Don't worry about his shooting," coach Fred Carter said. "That'll happen. What I like is his 16 rebounds and five blocked shots. That shows aggressiveness."

Bradley played 37 minutes, and he wasn't the only one who seemed overmatched out there.

At one point, Carter had four rookies on the floor -- Bradley, Greg Graham, Alfonso Ford and Warren Kidd -- with Eric Leckner, who didn't play in the NBA last year.

"I thought we defended well," Carter said. "When we got possession, however, all of the sudden we didn't know where to run to."

Call it the perils of youth. The Sixers shot 34 percent and held Miami to 41 percent.

As expected, Clarence Weatherspoon led the losers with 18 points. Sean Green added 16. As a team, the Sixers had only eight assists, to 26 for Miami.

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