Before the Sixers get to the Knicks, they have a date Tuesday with the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cincinnati. A week from Wednesday, the Sixers begin their regular season when they host a Miami Heat squad that features the Big Three of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
After lengthy, intense practices over the weekend, the Sixers went through noncontact drills and did not scrimmage Monday.
"We had three hard days of work," Collins said. "Guys were pretty sore, and we have a back-to-back [games]. So we came in today and really just tried to clean up execution. . . . I'd like for guys to play well the next two games. And we're going to give them Thursday off, and now Friday rolls around, and we still have a lot of stuff we have to get in. Because once we start, it really doesn't stop."
Collins said swingman Evan Turner will be in the lineup against the Cavaliers. The 6-foot-7 rookie, chosen by the Sixers with the second overall pick in the June draft, starred in college at Ohio State.
Turner will take the spot normally occupied by second-year pro Jrue Holiday, who Collins said willingly stepped aside. The coach also hopes to get Tony Battie some meaningful playing time against Cleveland. The veteran big man, coming back from right knee inflammation, scrimmaged on Friday and Saturday.
Battie likely will start against the Cavs, along with guard Andre Iguodala and forwards Elton Brand and Jason Kapono. Collins also said he will try to give some minutes to Chris Quinn, a Dublin, Ohio, native who is trying to make the team.
Notes. The Sixers have a 1-4 preseason record. . . . Of the 14 players on the team's roster who have guaranteed contracts, eight will be 24 or younger on opening day. . . . The Cavaliers (4-2) are in their first season under coach Byron Scott.
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