Without Bynum, Holiday takes lead for Sixers
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Doug Collins does a crossword puzzle everyday. He likes to think and find answers. During the third practice of training camp, the Sixers head coach transferred his hobby to his job as Collins and his staff are already tinkering with the team’s offensive approach.
“We are going to put the ball in Jrue Holiday’s hands a little bit more,” assistant coach Brian James said after an evening practice, the only session on Wednesday. “If he is going to be one of our stars and one of the elite point guards in the NBA, he has to have the ball in his hands a little bit more Doug feels. So we made some changes and I thought Jrue flourished because of that.”
Those changes mean no more playing with a center pretending to be Andrew Bynum whom they pound the ball inside, too. Instead Collins has decided to revert back to the up-tempo style the team had last season.
The change was inspired by the mere fact that Bynum is sidelined for the first three weeks. Bynum is a dominating post presence, but with him sidelined the lineup is better suited to the way the Sixers played in recent years – run and spread the floor.
“We do throw the ball down there (low post) just as much as we used to, but we weren’t a post threat last year,” James explained. “Again, if Jrue Holiday is going to be the star of this team, especially in the absence of Bynum, we are going to put the ball in his hands.”
Holiday has proven capable of finding the open man, creating for himself and making jump shots from inside the yard or out as Collins likes to say.
A year ago, the Sixers did have an equal opportunity rule when it came to handling the ball. Holiday, Evan Turner or Andre Iguodala had the green light to push the ball and get the team into the offense.
Right now, the Sixers are experimenting with that philosophy because Nick Young and Jason Richardson have not been that type of guard in the past. For the time being, they are playing with just two ball-handlers. Both know the offense and how Collins wants to operate.