To Philadelphia Coach Larry Brown, point guard Eric Snow is the epitome of an NBA player.
"He's a very unselfish player and a tremendous competitor," Brown said of Snow, who has been playing with a broken right ankle since the Eastern Conference finals against Milwaukee. "You see what he's gone through physically and he's still out there playing. It's a pretty incredible achievement, I think."
Snow has come a long way since he entered the NBA six years ago with the rap that he couldn't shoot, despite having a solid college career at Michigan State. But thanks to hard work and his ability to make clutch baskets, Snow has gained a reputation as one of the 76ers' most dangerous scorers.
"I'm still not feared as a shooter, but it's really comes down to confidence," said Snow, who scored 12 points in Game 2. "No. 1, you have to put your work in and practice, but it also depends on having a coach and a team that believes in you and encourages you to do it. . . . That's the big difference, but the main thing is experience on the court."
Reserve point guard Kevin Ollie played only five minutes in the first two games, but the former Crenshaw High standout definitely enjoyed his Los Angeles homecoming.
"It's been great to help contribute to our team getting to the NBA Finals, especially knowing where I've come from," said Ollie, who signed with Philadelphia as a free agent Dec. 22. "I definitively feel a part of this team."
Since coming to the NBA from Connecticut four years ago, Ollie has played for Dallas, Orlando, Sacramento, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
For Ollie, the toughest part about playing in the NBA Finals hasn't been getting playing time but getting tickets.
"It was real hard and I know a lot of people are mad at me," said Ollie, who had 15 tickets for Friday night's game. "I tried to get my immediate family in here along with some of my closest friends who have been with me."
Despite having a broken bone in his left foot, forward George Lynch is still hoping to contribute to the 76er effort.
Brown said Lynch's attitude is what has carried Philadelphia all season.
"He told me if he could give two minutes, three minutes to rest somebody, he'd feel good about it," Brown said about Lynch, who suffered his injury May 13. "I don't know what to expect or what the chances of him playing are, but it's nice for him to just have a goal to try and get back."
Lynch, who has been running sand hills every day in Los Angeles, may want to make a miraculous return, but he's also realistic about his comeback.
"I still can't go off my left foot to shoot a layup, and that's a part of basketball," Lynch said. "I know that if I can't do that, I can't help the team. I would be a fool to think that I could go back out there and play as a starter. But I would love to go out there and spare guys some minutes."
Not too many people knew about Raja Bell before the playoffs began, but the reserve swingman has been making a name for himself for the 76ers over the last two rounds of the postseason.
For the former Continental Basketball Assn. standout, the exposure could not have come at a better time.
"I like to think that I've got an all-around game," said Bell, who attended Florida International after transferring from Boston University. "Growing up and in college, I was a scorer, and in the CBA I was a scorer. We've got great scorers on our team now, so that's not a part of my game that they really need, and that's fine by me."