Sixers Notes: Clearing up confusion over role of Sixers' Turner

Posted: March 10, 2012

Seems there is some confusion about who plays where in the 76ers backcourt - or, more specifically, what their positions will be. It stems from coach Doug Collins' comment after the Sixers' victory over the Celtics Wednesday that Evan Turner is a point guard.

So, what does that mean for Jrue Holiday? Is he moving to play the two?

Well, no.

Collins said that Turner is "a point guard." He did not say that he is "the Sixers' point guard."

What Collins likes is that Turner is a good defensive rebounder - he also said on Wednesday that the second-year player is the best rebounder on the team - and that he is very good at getting the ball off the boards and initiating the fast break.

Collins enjoyed that same luxury when he coached Grant Hill in Detroit. Hill played small forward, but he gave the Pistons the luxury of having another player on the floor who could initiate the offense without getting the ball into the hands of the point guard. And before his body started betraying him, he had point-guard skills in a 6-foot-8 body.

Joe Dumars and Lindsey Hunter formed Detroit's starting backcourt then. Present Sixers assistant coaches Michael Curry and Aaron McKie were key rotation players on that 1996-97 team.

Here is how Collins clarified the Sixers' alignment at the team's shootaround Friday morning.

"Even when Evan was not starting, we were not a team that had a primary point guard," Collins said. "So it's not like we're going, 'Wow, we're taking the ball out of this guy's hands.' We have never played that way since I have been here. We've had at least two playmakers on the floor at all times."

Collins also said Wednesday that one of his primary jobs is to determine what he can get out of a starting group that includes Turner (replacing Jodie Meeks at the two guard), Iguodala, and Holiday.

What should make this easier is that Holiday and Turner appear to be close, off the court and in the locker room - where their stalls are adjacent. Before games they can be seen laughing, joking, and passing their cellphones back and forth.

They don't look as if they are ready to butt heads. And if any coaching staff is ready to handle this new wrinkle, it would appear to be the Sixers.'

"I think that would be reading into it, to think what's going to happen. I don't think anything is going to happen," Collins said. " . . . I feel very good that everybody is going to play very well."

Pollack honored

The Sixers celebrated Harvey "Super Stat" Pollack's 90th birthday at Friday's game. Still the team's director of statistical information, Pollack is widely recognized as the top stats keeper in professional sports.

True to form, Pollack, the longest-tenured employee in the NBA, wore a shirt that read "32,872 days old. But who's counting."

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