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Sixers turning it around with Evan Turner and Doug Collins

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The Sixers gave their city something to cheer about Thursday night when New Sixer Evan TurnerCommissioner David Stern announced Ohio State star and 2010 Big Ten Player Of the Year, Evan Turner as the number two overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. The closer it came to the pick, the more nervous I became as talks of trading for the second spot were still in the air. The thought of them trading away an opportunity to take a future NBA superstar in this draft would’ve been ludicrous. It would’ve resulted in fans completely boycotting this team for good, and for good reason.

The Sixers haven’t exactly been fitting the right pieces to their puzzle lately and the overall fan support has been the lowest its in years. But they made the right move in picking Turner. We now have a true offense weapon added to our front court to join Jrue Holiday and fellow wing man Andre Iguodala. "We are very excited to select a player with the all-around skill and talent of Evan Turner," Sixers GM Ed Stefanski  said. "We think he will step in from the first day and make an impact on this team on both ends of the floor." Turner has the potential to quickly become a rising star in the NBA and help make the Sixers a dominant force in the Eastern Conference for years to come.

On top of his impressive basketball resume, it seems like Turner really wants to be in Philadelphia. He shares the same passion for his sport as we the fans have for our teams. His personality off the court is something to be noted as well. I don’t think fans will have to worry about picking up the morning paper and seeing Evan on the front page after being charged with some ridiculous crime. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders and has prepared himself to be a true professional athlete in the NBA.

Now….. I’m not saying that Turner is the missing link the Sixers needed to win it all in 2011. They still have some holes to fill in the front court, their shooting situation is still an issue and they need to learn how to play some “shut-down” defense. However, I believe this team, and Turner, will give fans a reason to watch next season.

Along with Turner’s talent, the Sixers have recently acquired a head coach that will know how to utilize that talent on the court.Manute Bol with Charles Barkley. Doug Collins is back in Philadelphia and he’s got his work cut out for him. Getting this team back to NBA playoff shape is not going to happen over night, but it’s a task that Collins has faced before as a player in Philly. He is stoked about being back and has a passion for the game of basketball that the players will embrace and respect. Eddie Jordan’s philosophy and game-time decisions left us all scratching our heads from day one. Collins knows how to break a team down and prepare them to play a style that best compliments their strengths. He is also a stickler for defense and will not tolerate any lack of hustle on both ends of the floor. He just feels like the right fit at the right time. "Doug Collins is a terrific motivator, teacher, and manager," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. "We believe he is the right coach for the Philadelphia 76ers and the one who will lead us back onto the right track."

Finally, I couldn’t write another article without mentioning the passing of former Sixer player and dedicated humanitarian, Manute Bol.

The 7-foot-7 shot blocker (and sometimes streaky three pointer shooter) played 10 seasons in the NBA for four different teams. His generous humanitarian efforts for his home country has left a lasting impression on the Sixers organization and the city of Philly

He was 47 years young.

 

Contact Matt Schetter at mschetter@philly2philly.com

Evan Turner photo: Jason DeCrow / Associated Press

 

Doug Collins Photo: http://www.digitalsportsdaily.com/nba/news/1196-report-doug-collins-new-philadelphia-76ers-coach.html