Tonight will mark the first time rookie Evan Turner will don his Sixers jersey with the No. 12 on the back. It will be the first time Philadelphia fans will get a glimpse of the No. 2 overall pick. He will get some minutes, only he probably won't be playing much at the position fans envisioned.
Turner has struggled so far playing the shooting guard spot, as Collins has said he is having trouble with getting banged around and keeping up with the speed of the game from that spot. Turner has been doing a better job with the ball in his hands, so expect to see him running the show when starting point guard Jrue Holiday is on the bench.
The starting lineup tonight should look like this: Holiday at the point, Andre Iguodala at the two, Thad Young at small forward, Elton Brand at the power forward and Spencer Hawes at center.
Some things to look for this preseason:
*Rebounding. This could be the biggest weakness on the team. The Sixers have no dominant player to consistently grab 10 boards a game, so it will have to be a team-effort. Also, this group is better suited when it gets out on the break, which is impossible to do unless your creating turnovers or rebounding.
*Interior defense. The trade that sent center Sam Dalembert to Sacramento left the Sixers with no intimidating presence inside. Also, Brand, Hawes, Marreese Speights and the likes are never going to scare anyone with their defense. If teams have their way inside against the Sixers, it could make for some serious problems.
*Play of Iguodala: Collins is a huge fan of Iguodala's, and knows that his game is at its best when he is out on the break and running and slashing to the basket. Too many times last season, Iguodala settled for long-range jump shots, which is not in his or the team's best interest.
*Play of Thad Young: Young struggled severely last season as coach Eddie Jordan bounced him between the small and power forward spots. Collins will not do that. According to the new coach, Young will be a small forward all season and will establish himself there come hell or high water. Much of his offensive struggles last season were due to his inconsistent jumper. Like Iguodala, he is better at going to the basket. Being a threat from the outside, something he wasn't last year, would make that a lot easier for Young.
The team will play the Boston Celtics tomorrow night in Manchester, New Hampshire.