Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Sixers

Posted: August 12, 2010

These two youngsters are clearly under the most pressure to deliver on the expectations.

They are the face of hope for the Sixers.

Veterans Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand make the most money by far, but Sixers fans are staking

everything in Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner becoming the best backcourt since Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney.

That's asking a lot of two kids who have a combined 51 NBA starts between them, and one of the two has zero.

At 19, Holiday was the youngest player in the NBA last season, but once former coach Eddie Jordan gave him the ball for good, he began to show flashes of a top-notch floor general.

His overall numbers of 8.0 points and 3.8 assists don't scream out, but you have to look at intangibles when evaluating a player this young in his rookie season.

Turner is actually a year-and-a-half older than Holiday, but it is hoped his 3 years at Ohio State prepared him to make more of an impact as a rookie. He led the Big Ten in scoring (20.4 points) and rebounding (9.2) while ranking second in assists (6.0) and steals (1.7).

New Sixers coach Doug Collins was a four-time All-Star guard during his playing career in Philadelphia. He was also the first NBA coach for Michael Jordan and Grant Hill.

The hope is that youthful enthusiasm combined with experienced teaching will produce something special for years to come.

Send e-mail to smallwj@phillynews.com.

For recent columns, go to

http://go.philly.com/smallwood.

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