07/06/10 9:39 am EST
The game had quite a few different storylines. First and foremost it was the debut of Sixers guard Evan Turner and Nets forward Derrick Favors, both top three picks. Of course both teams also made coaching changes, both hiring former television analysts; Doug Collins (TNT) to Philadelphia and Avery Johnson (ESPN) to New Jersey.
But instead it was Philadelphia point guard Jrue Holiday who stole the show Monday night, scoring 23 points and dishing out 8 assists.
“Jrue Holiday is going to be a terrific player in this league,” said Doug Collins after his team’s 10 point victory. “He’s a great kid and we’re putting a lot on him. We want him to be the quarterback of our team. And we think he has an incredibly bright future.”
Holiday was 6-for-11 from the field and had several nice slashing buckets with both his right and left hands.
“I’m no longer a rookie. The experience of last season and Coach Collins are helping my game.” said Holiday
Holiday may have led the way in the box score for the Sixers, but all eyes were still on the rookie from Ohio State. Evan Turner finished the game with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
“I really haven’t played five-on-five since our tournament loss to Tennessee,” said Turner. That sweet 16 loss came in March, about four months ago. “I was playing the three [position] and was able to post up and get to the line too. It was my pro debut, so I have a lot to build upon.”
Turner was 8-for-8 from the free throw line and was matched up early on with Terrence Williams, a starting guard on New Jersey’s 2009-10 regular season roster. Williams finished with 23 points, 7 assists and three outrageous dunks. Williams was clearly the Nets leader and was also disruptive on defense for New Jersey.
Turner himself added two steals on the defensive side and played much bigger than his 6’7” frame would indicate.
“He was anxious. The thing we want Evan to work on is getting better off the ball, because at Ohio State he mostly handled the ball. He’s an unselfish player, a true team player.” said Head Coach Doug Collins.
Sixer shooting guard Jodie Meeks added 18 points and 5 boards. Meeks hit several deep jump shots including a dagger three-pointer in the fourth quarter that put Philadelphia up for good.
Derrick Favors wasn’t as impressive in his New Jersey debut. Favors had 8 points and 9 rebounds, but also committed 7 fouls. Nets rookies forward Damien James posted 11 points and 5 rebounds.
Third year power forward Marreese Speights ended the game with 6 points, 7 rebounds and 3 turnovers. Collins admitted Speights “never really found his rhythm” Monday night against New Jersey.