Training camp is a time for optimism for any team, and the Sixers are no different.
Elton Brand has slimmed down and is quicker and in better shape than he's been in for a long time. He says his game is back to form. Thad Young bulked up his upper body and his coach says his head is clear after a disappointing year last season. Coach Doug Collins says he loves how well Marreese Speights has been doing and that his offseason workouts and conditioning were great.
Collins has also praised the play of rookie guard Evan Turner, the second overall pick in the draft. Turner didn't look good during the Orlando Summer League in early July, mostly because he hadn't played organized ball since his Ohio State team got ousted from the NCAA Tournament in March. Turner looks to be in much better shape now than he did then, and he certainly is gaining more confidence while he polishes his game against NBA players.
The question is, though, where will he get his playing time?
Collins is working hard in trying to teach Turner how to become a true "two" guard, which includes moving without the basketball, coming off picks, getting the ball while cutting to the basket. But right now that isn't a strong point of Turner's. Right now he is playing much better with the ball in his hands.
But that's the job of Jrue Holiday, the second year guard who is opening eyes and is quickly building a reputation as one of the most promising point guards in the league. Again, more optimism.
So where does that leave Turner? Andre Iguodala is the starting "two" guard right now. Lou Williams will come off the bench and fill that spot for a good amount of minutes, probably moving Iguodala to the "three." Collins has said that Holiday will play "36 minutes for 82 games." That doesn't appear to leave a ton of minutes for Turner.
Of course, it's still very early, and Turner has looked better each day during training camp at Saint Joseph's. Having someone who can play multiple positions is always a good thing. The biggest challenge for Collins, though, might be finding minutes for Turner.