Five things to look for as Sixers training camp opens Tuesday:
1. The backcourt: Much praise is being laid on second-year point guard Jrue Holiday, who has a new backcourt running mate in second overall pick Evan Turner. Holiday will be a staple at the point. When he is not in the game, Turner could spell him for a time there, as coach Doug Collins has talked about how well Turner has looked in preseason workouts at the point. If Turner is a little slow in adapting to the NBA game, Lou Williams could start at the two, at least for the beginning of the season. Jodi Meeks will provide scoring punch off the bench.
2. Interior defense: The split with center Sam Dalembert was one that had to be done, for both parties, but it left a gaping hole as far as a last line of defense. Spencer Hawes, Marreese Speights and Elton Brand won’t strike fear into many who drive to the basket, though they should benefit from Collins’ defensive schemes. They’ll also get help from a solid group of perimeter defenders headed by Holiday, Andre Iguodala and Turner.
3. New coach Doug Collins: There is little doubt that Collins is one of the best basketball minds around the NBA game, and few could match his enthusiasm and eagerness to get this season started. There probably couldn’t be a better person to bring in to lift spirits after last year’s dreadful 27-win season.