Archive: July, 2010
The Sixers lost their first game of the Summer League in Orlando today, 89-80, to the Oklahoma City Thunder as rookie Evan Turner struggled again, shooting just 1-for-6 from the field and scoring four points. He committed six fouls in his 27-plus minutes and still seems a step slow.
Coach Doug Collins and general manager Ed Stefanski both said they are not surprised by Turner's slow start. Both point to the fact that he hasn't played organized basketball since his Ohio State team was ousted in the NCAA Tournament in late March. Playing in games was not recommended to Turner by his handler for fear of injury.
As much as Turner has struggled, his backcourt mate, Jrue Holiday, has shined. Holiday posted 25 points and five assists yesterday. He is absolutely oozing with confidence and is shooting the ball extremely well and getting to the basket with relative ease. He is as quick as any point guard down here and is much stronger than most. His ability to finish around the basket has been very impressive.
Bob Cooney of the Daily News reports from Orlando.
ORLANDO - For the first game of the Summer League here in Orlando, coach Doug Collins sat across the court from the bench while assistants Aaron McKie and Quin Snyder ran the club. Collins could hardly contain himself being out of shouting distance from his players, so during today's game he was seated near the end of the bench.
He is a players' coach. He continually shouted words of instruction and praise. He called players over just to give them a slap on the hand, or give them a thumbs up. Though prized rookie Evan Turner struggled again initially, Collins knows that he is struggling because of fatigue and the fact that he hasn't played organized ball since late March.
Turner scored 13 points, turned the ball over and four times and, at times, seemed confused with the referees' calls during the Sixers' 86-69 win. But he shrugged it off and acknowledged that he's a little bit up from all the practices and games that the team has gone through. The assembled group has been down here since Thursday and has been practicing and playing games since.
Evan Turner played his first organized 5-on-5 basketball game on Monday night for the first time since his Ohio State team lost in the Sweet 16 to Tennessee. On March 26th.
The rust was certainly there. Turner often dribbled too much, at times showed frustration with the referees and didn't seem to have the smoothness to his game that helped him become the consesus college player of the year last season. But, he also didn't force things, taking just five shots, went to the glass (getting eight rebounds), and improved as the game went on to help the Sixers defeat the team representing the New Jersey Nets.
"Rusty is a good word," Turner said after the game. "I was trying to get acclimated to playing off the ball. I'm still getting used to cutting quicker off ball screens and stuff like that. It's going to take time to pick up the offense. But I competed and I think my teammates competed and we got the job done."
"Evan is really good." When Jrue Holiday said those words this morning at the RDV Sportsplex Athletic Club in Orlando following the team's walk through in preparation for tonight's Summer League opener, he raised his eyebrows as if he was even surprised at the ability of Evan Turner.
Turner, taken with the second overall pick in last month's draft, was practicing in the backcourt with Holiday, along with second-year vet Jodie Meeks as the team ran through plays under the direction of new head coach Doug Collins. Third-year player Marreese Speights, who shrugged when asked how much weight he's lost (probably about 25 pounds), was also on the court the majority of the time with Holiday, Turner and Meeks. Tonight at 7, the team will play the New Jersey Nets, who will feature the third pick in this year's draft, forward Derrick Favors.
Collins energetically led the team through offensive and defensive drills in preparation for the five-games-five-days stretch, often stopping to correct footwork, or how and when players should come off screens.
As expected, the 76ers announced yesterday that Michael Curry, Brian James and Quin Snyder will assist head coach Doug Collins in his first year with the team. Collins had already announced that Aaron McKie would be one of his assistants.
Curry, who was given the title associate coach, was the head coach of the Detroit Pistons during the 2008-09 season, leading them to the playoffs that year. He was an assistant coach for the team the prior seasons. He played 11 seasons in the NBA, including a 10-game stint with the Sixers in 1993. He played for Collins in Detroit in 1995-96.
James has been coaching in the NBA for 11 seasons, including stints as Collins' assistant in both Detroit and Washington, and Snyder most recently coached the Austin Toros in the NBA D-League for three seasons after a seven-year stint at the University of Missouri.
Donyell Marshall, who appeared in 25 games with the 76ers in 2008-09 and spent last season as an analyst for Comcast SportsNet, has joined the coaching staff at George Washington University.
Andy Miller, Marshall's agent, confirmed the move to the Daily News.
''He loved what he did at SporttsNet, but he definitely was going to go in to coaching at some point,'' Miller said. ''His heart is on the sidelines.''