The two of them have seen firsthand the changes this team has made. Coach Doug Collins worked in a variety of lineups Sunday night in the Sixers' 88-79 win over the Boston Celtics, improving the team to 5-1 in the preseason. They travel to Syracuse, N.Y., on Monday night to face the Knicks in their final preseason tune-up.
Thanks to the changes, Collins can go big and feed Andrew Bynum and Spencer Hawes down low in a half-court offense. Or he can use Young and Lavoy Allen in the frontcourt to ignite a speedy transition offense.
It's the personnel that has Holiday excited. Newcomers Richardson, Nick Young, and Dorell Wright give the Sixers an outside shooting presence that was sorely missing from this team last season.
"They make me look good," Holiday said with a smile. "They'll make my assists go up."
Bynum and Holiday will dictate much of the team's success. But Young is a piece that can push the Sixers offense over the edge. The 6-foot-8 forward has added weight but still possesses the speed that not many his size have.
"The way we're built, we need Thad to be a hybrid [power forward]," Collins said. "It's not something that most people would notice, but in transition, he can take a guard with him, which opens up another lane to kick it to. I'm very pleased with him. I think he's in a good spot."
It will be tough to fully get a sense of the Sixers' offensive style until Bynum's knee is healthy and he can play regular minutes, a time anxiously awaited as the Oct. 31 season opener looms.
Wright showed he can score in transition and half-court sets and finished with a game-high 20 points against Boston. He added five rebounds.
"The thing I'm proud about is we showed a competitive heart," Collins said. "We've got guys who really want to win. These guys are very unselfish, and they recognize guys can make shots."
Collins' starting five of Evan Turner, Allen, Holiday, Richardson, and Arnett Moultrie struggled mightily. The Sixers opened the game in a 12-3 hole.
"It wasn't a good mix," Collins said. "But that's what we had to do with Thad resting."
After rotating to a smaller, faster lineup, the Sixers found a groove and shot well against a notoriously tough Celtics defense that gave Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo relatively heavy minutes.
Even against the Celtics defense, the Sixers were able to spring free and work on their transition offense. In the half- court set, Holiday (10 points, five assists, six rebounds) fed Richardson, Turner, and Wright on the wings with passes that led to quick buckets.
"They made the extra pass," Collins said. "It's a fun way to play."