The Evan Turner experiment continues tonight when the Sixers host the physical Utah Jazz tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.
Turner scored 26 points in Wednesday's blowout win over the Boston Celtics, his second-straight start. After the game coach Doug Collins said Turner would remain his starter throughout the rest of the season.
"Right now I'm just preparing and getting used to starting games off," said Turner at this morning's shootaround. "I'm a little more into the starting mentality because before I sat on the bench until about the 3-minute mark. It's just preparing to get my legs ready. I feel a lot more confident knowing I'm going to get a lot more minutes and be able to find my rhythm and stuff."
Sub forward Thaddeus Young will be back with the team tonight after missing Wednesday's game with an upper respiratory problem. Tony Battie will be in the starting lineup at center, as Collins says he thinks rookie center Nikola Vucevic is better acclimated coming off the bench.
As for tonight, it's a rematch from early in the season when the Jazz beat the Sixers up inside and dealt them a 102-99 loss.
"Paint, paint, paint,” said Collins when asked about tonight’s biggest problem facing his team. "We haven’t had two wins together in a while. This is to build on the other night against Boston. Utah is a tough matchup. They’re a paint-heavy team. They have a potent bench and a very physical team. They cut hard, you have to rebound you have to defend. For us it’s going to be about getting out in the open court and use our speed and play and get things so they can’t get back and get their defense set. This is going to be a very difficult challenge."
Both Turner and Holiday said how much they enjoy playing with each other in the backcourt.
"It worked last game," said Holiday of his time with Turner. "My college experience I didn’t play point so I know how to play off the the ball better. And it’s fun playing with Evan, especially when he gets out there and he does his thing and he’s comfortable with it. He can really play. I felt really comfortable. We were wondering who would get those extra shots, but Evan got all of them. It felt good. It was comfortable out there.
"It makes it a lot easier because I just don’t have to handle the ball all the time. With Evan there I can come off screens, kind of play like a two-guard. It doesn’t matter as long as I’m out there making a difference."