Sixers Ball Pit: Monday's Guests, Evan Turner's Hard Work and a Turkish Allen Iverson

Welcome to the Monday edition of the Ball Pit cub and girl scouts! I trust you had a great weekend, no? Oh, you're a Phillies and Eagles fan, I forgot. 

Well at least the Sixers start their run for a championship on Wednesday in Philadelphia. To get you ready for the event, why don't we dive head first right into the ball pit (you can even bring your Chicken Nuggets in with you). Ryan Howard, on the other hand, is too busy watching stirkes go by to pay attention to the links today. What, too soon?

Today we've got Evan Turner and his quest to shut the haters up, an NBA.com awards prediction that may excite you, Doug Collins wishing he had more t-i-m-e, the Sixers lack of star power, and hopefully the only Allen Iverson news we'll bring up for a long time.

Conquer the Evil Zurg after the jump.

How Evan Turner Will Prove Skeptics Wrong: Philadelphia Inquirer

He's always overcome every difficulty, so why should this be any different?

Turner was born in 1988, and within his first three years he dealt with measles, pneumonia, chicken pox, asthma, the removal of his adenoids and tonsils, being hit by a car, and overcoming a speech impediment.

"In high school, I didn't start off the best, but I worked my way to the top by the end," Turner explained. "In college, I didn't start off the best and worked my way to the top by the end."

"I understand that I'm still trying to find my way. If people are worried, they're worried. I'm not really worried, because I know what's in me. I never really express worry openly, because I know what's in me. I know I start off slow, and I end up dominating."

Earlier this month, some talking head compared Turner to Adam Morrison, the No. 3 pick in the 2006 NBA draft, a 6-foot-8 forward who quickly played - or didn't play - his way out of the league.

"I don't know. I just thought it was funny in general," Turner explained. "Adam Morrison is more of a shooter, a pick-and-pop type of guy. I just laughed it off. A friend told me, and we laughed pretty heavily about it. I was like, 'What? We're two different players.' "

Can the Sixers Overcome Lack of Star Power?: CSN Philly

"It’s tough, very tough because superstars win in this game," coach Doug Collins said. "That is why I said we have to have strength in numbers. We have to have 10 guys contribute on a nightly basis."

"It is a lot easier if you have a main superstar that can get to the foul line that can create plays, that can grab all the attention and create shots for the rest of the team," Jason Kapono said. "We have guys like that, but they aren’t experienced guys that have done it year after year after year like Kobe or Dwyane Wade or LeBron, but we can beat teams as a group. We are a team that can play nine, 10 deep."

Same Article: Andre Iguodala's Wrist Update

Iguodala was wearing a black splint on his right hand and confessed that if there was a game that night, he would not be able to play – at least not effectively. "I wouldn’t be able to shoot," he said. "I wouldn’t be able to get the ball off my fingertips."

Same Article: The Starters Need to Slow Down, Play as a Unit

"We are moving a little too fast," he said. "We have to slow down and just play. Sometimes we play not to make a mistake instead of just playing and executing. We have to continue to grow. We are trying to get the bonehead mistakes out of the way. And that is where we are thinking too much."

Iguodala went on to say that he thinks the second unit plays well together and that the starters need to get to that point.

"Everybody is trying to do too much," (Kapono) said of the starters. "One guy has a certain thing he wants to do, another guy has something he wants to do. We need everybody working to help each other out. I’m going to get Elton open or Spencer is going to get me open. We have to think for each other."

"We have to work on our chemistry as a unit," he said. "During practice Sunday and in the preseason anytime things are going well, we play well. But when we hit a drought on the offensive end we kind of space out and we don’t come together as a group and fight through those things. 

Like Jessie Spano, Doug Collins Wishes He Had More Time: Philadelphia Daily News

"I wish I had, like, another 3 weeks," said Collins, who returned to practice Friday after missing a couple of days with what has been diagnosed as vertigo. "But I don't, so . . . We've had guys out and it's been a tough time getting everybody together. With that said, a lot of other teams have gone through the same things. But with a new group and a new coach and new expectations and demands it will be nice to have everyone together."

"I think it's expected," said Kapono of the group's slow progression thus far. "We're so young, no really established players here. Obviously, you have a couple veterans, but he's [Collins] just trying to figure out what combinations work, what personnel works best to help the team win. We've all only been together for 4 weeks, so it can take time. I think he has a pretty good idea of what group plays well together."

Obligatory Mention of Allen Iverson Signing in Turkey: FanHouse.com

The Answer will be joining former Vanderbilt big-man AJ Ogilvy in Europe.

Allen Iverson has agreed to sign a two-year contract worth $4 million to play with Besiktas of the Turkish professional league, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports.

Iverson is expected to sign the contract this week, and is expected to report to his new team sometime during the first week of November.

The contract reportedly gives Iverson the ability to opt out after this season, but not to leave before then and return to the NBA.

NBA.com Awards Predictions

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com:

Coach of the Year: Stan Van Gundy
Most Improved Player: Jrue Holiday
Sixth Man: Manu Ginobili
Defensive POY: Dwight Howard
Rookie: Blake Griffin
MVP: LeBron James

Completely Un-Sixer-Related News of the Day: Katy Perry and Russell Brand Get Married

Joining Brand and Perry for the procession were two elephants named Laxmi and Mala. "Mala is a bit skittish and hates crowds, but she managed to behave herself," a source confirmed.

Good for Mala. I've always believed in him. The pressure was intense and he showed up with his game face on, ready to go.

And a fun challenge for you guys, name a couple that would be more fun to double date with than this one. Chances are, when you wake up the next morning, find a parokeet in your toaster and you'll owe $40,000 in damages you four caused at the local marshmallow factory.

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