November 10 Philadelphia Daily News:
“This was the 76ers‘ backcourt combination of the future that Doug Collins, at the start of training camp, wasn’t sure would ever work.
This was second-year point guard Jrue Holiday, who basically was on the court for about half of his rookie season, and rookie Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft, uncomfortable without the ball in his hands.
Collins, at that point, wasn’t certain Holiday was ready to run the offense the Sixers‘ new coach was installing. And Turner, who almost always had the ball in his hands as he became the NCAA Player of the Year as a junior at Ohio State, was clearly more comfortable playing with Lou Williams, a natural scorer.
This has involved painstaking teaching by Collins and perhaps a natural maturation process, but the Holiday–Turner backcourt might yet have a future. Ready or not, it’s here. With Andre Iguodala out for the second straight game with a strained Achilles’ tendon, the kids will be making their second straight start together tonight in Oklahoma City.
“Evan is getting better and better every day,” Collins was saying after practice yesterday at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “They’re playing well together. A lot of that is because Evan has gotten much better off the ball. Evan has freed up Jrue a little bit to do some things out on the floor and be more aggressive. What, to me, was not a great blend at the start of training camp, right now I think those guys are playing very, very well together. And Evan’s got his confidence. You can just see him; he feels good about himself. He feels really good about what he’s doing and what he’s bringing to this team.”
Holiday, who arrived as a rookie armed with uncommon confidence, said it was less about figuring out which player was the point and which was the off-guard and more about “just playing ball,” figuring each other out.
“I think it was just a matter of time,” Holiday said. “It was something new to Evan. He kind of had to feel me out, I had to feel him out. Working with him is easy. People say we’re the future. He’s an all-around player, somebody easy to play with, on or off the ball.”
The season is very young, but Collins said he likes the way the pair is progressing.”
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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