The 76ers picked up a solid road victory, their first of the season, on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. Without swingman Andre Iguodala, the backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner looked just as good as most Sixers fans hoped when Turner was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Turner was making that 18-foot jumper, which he had been missing through the season's first few games.
How much playing time, and how many opportunities, Turner receives once Iguodala returns from tendinitis of his right Achilles remains to be seen, but in talking to a few people on Sunday, they're optimistic that once Turner gets even more comfortable, he'll start to take off.
Sunday's victory can be boiled down to the fourth quarter play of reserve center Tony Battie, who played the entire fourth quarter, and the solid play of power forward Elton Brand. Of course no one wants to jump the gun here, but we hit Brand with these same questions when he was missing games during the 2008-09 season w/ his shoulder injury: Does this team just happen to mesh better without one or the other (Iguodala or Brand) not in the lineup? One game is not enough to draw a conclusion, and it's unclear whether Iguodala's injury will cause him to miss more games, but watching the production and flow of this team -- either way -- will certainly be interesting.
The Sixers are practicing today and tomorrow at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine before leaving tomorrow afternoon for Oklahoma City, which kicks off a four-game road trip that spans a week. Sixers will play at Oklahoma City, at the Dallas Mavericks, at the San Antonio Spurs, and then at the Cleveland Cavaliers.