October 6 Philadelphia Daily News:
“It had been 13 years since an NBA game was played here, so the fans who came to the Roanoke Civic Center last night to see the 76ers and New Jersey Nets play in an exhibition game certainly were a bit curious. And so was new Sixers coach Doug Collins.
The objects of Collins’ wonderment? How well backup center Marreese Speights would play. How well his team would be able to defend on the interior. How rookies Evan Turner and Craig Brackins would respond to their first game in an NBA uniform.
Some questions, obviously, still remain after the Nets’ 103-96 win.
“I saw some good things,” Collins said. “We had three turnovers in the first half, then just shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers. We were very careless, but I thought we did a much better job in the paint defensively in the second half. I thought Mo played well early, then got tired. We could have done a better job inside defensively.”
Speights was very active on the offensive end, scoring a team-high 19 points, though he was partially responsible for Nets center Brook Lopez torching the Sixers for 24 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes. It didn’t help that Sixers starting center Spencer Hawes was called for two fouls less than 3 minutes into the game.
Turner and Brackins got their feet wet, as Turner totaled 12 points and seven rebounds, and Brackins, who has surprised many with his play, had five each of points and rebounds in 21 minutes, and the team got out on the fastbreak quite a bit and executed well when it did, outscoring the Nets by 22-5 on the break.
Elton Brand looked quick and active in scoring 15 for the Sixers. Jrue Holiday scored 10 and collected five rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes. He also turned the ball over five times.
“I think in the second half we could have done better,” Holiday said of the Sixers getting outscored, 46-38, in the final two periods. “We did well in spurts and we played poorly in spurts. I think we did well on the break, but we’ve always had that ability because of our length. We can execute better and take better care of the ball. I take full responsibility for that.”
Turner played mostly the point-guard spot, which Collins has said he would for the time being. The rookie was semi-pleased with his performance.
“Sometimes I have to not fall in love with the jump shot,” he said after shooting 1-for-6 from the floor. “Execution is key for sure.””
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