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The Winning Streak Begins

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I wouldn't call it pretty basketball, but it was a form of the sport. The Sixers took down the Nets in their first summer league game of the season last night, I have some quick thoughts after the jump.

First of all, two players on the floor looked like legitimate NBA players tonight, Jrue Holiday for the Sixers and Terrence Williams for the Nets. Pretty much everything positive involved either one of those guys and they were a joy to watch. The rest of the guys out there? Well, some had their moments, but mostly it was a bunch of sloppy basketball and quick whistles.

I realize it's only one game, so I'm not going to kill Evan Turner. I will say this, though. After watching him play against the Nets I do believe the development of legit three-point range is going to be crucial for him in the NBA. Not because the Sixers need him to stretch the floor, but because he's going to need to be able to force his man to play him close on the perimeter, giving him an advantage when he wants to drive the ball.

Overall, I thought Turner was active, though not terribly effective on the defensive end. He did have a nice strip of Damion James, the third or fourth time James posted him up. Terrence Williams was too quick for Turner, but he was too quick for Jrue as well, so there's not a whole lot to be taken from that matchup. Turner really shined on the glass (8 boards) and he had one nifty drive + finish in transition where he went behind his back twice before laying it in with his left hand in traffic.

On the other side of the ball, Derrick Favors looked like pretty much what I expected. A super athletic big who's going to grab boards, play D and take some time to develop into whatever he's going to eventually become. Neither the #2 nor #3 pick in the draft impressed me too much in this one.

Speights had a woeful, woeful game. 1/11 from the floor with 6 fouls in 30 minutes. He did grab 7 boards, which isn't horrible. He still looks a full step slower to me than he did prior to the knee injury last season, but that could also be rust.

Meeks did what Meeks does. Catch and shoot. The comedic highlight of the game was his blown dunk in the first half, when the alligator arms were on full display. He hit a pair of threes in five attempts, which is really what we need from him. He also looks like he bulked up a bit in the offseason.

At the end of the night, Terrence Williams looked like the best athlete on the floor (which he was) and Jrue Holiday looked like the best basketball player on the floor (which he is). I have no doubt Turner will get acclimated, and I'm glad he didn't just start chucking shots to get his numbers, chalk it up as a rough start.

The Sixers play the Celtics tonight at 5pm (allegedly). I'll be in transit, so I won't have a chance to watch the game until late. Use this post for any thoughts on game one, as well as your game thread for game two. Keep an eye on Avery Bradley's defense in this one.
by Brian on Jul 6 2010
Tags: Basketball | Jrue Holiday | Offseason | Sixers | Summer League |