"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.
"He's a great coach and a great teacher," said Holiday, who is being looked upon to be a leader on the young group assembled. A pretty heavy load for a 20-year old. Turner could make that easier for him. We'll start to find out tonight.