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Sixers Ball Pit: Friday's Guests, A Holiday/Turner Future and Fan-Made Signs

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Yesterday, Jordan shut down the ball pit for maintenance purposes that I'm not permitted to address for fear of a lawsuit. The proper authorities came and did their inspection and we can assure you, the pit is now perfectly safe to enter (it's not). We're back open today with a full plate and passion bucket of avacados and Sixers fun.

On the docket for Friday, we've got Jrue Holiday addressing his opening night dud, a prediction about the Sixers that won't excite fans, a mini-preview of tonight's game against the Hawks, ideas about the future, and signs that of the anti-LeBron James variety. Come on in, the water is lukewarm.

All you could ever need after the "baby turn around and let me see that sexy body go jump, jump, jump."

Bob Cooney Not High on Current Team, Likes Idea of Future: Philadelphia Daily News

If you are a fan, there certainly aren't a lot of bright spots right now concerning the 76ers. In fact, things are looking about as dark and scary as a haunted house.

There is no real go-to stud, their inside players are better on the perimeter offensively but aren't very good defensively inside or outside the paint. Their lack of outside shooting is as glaring as the empty seats that will certainly outnumber the people occupying the stands at many home games this season at the Wells Fargo Center.

For now, the subs seem to be as good as, if not better, than the starters, and coach Doug Collins hasn't even really settled on a starting lineup yet.

The backcourt, which many envisioned as being Jrue Holiday at the point and rookie Evan Turner as the shooter, will take time to materialize.

Their strategy seems to have changed from "we can win with this group" to "we want to see what we have and make changes." They, meaning president Rod Thorn to general manager Ed Stefanski and on down through the front-office guys to Collins, all realize that this is not a team that they are going to try and tweak to make the playoffs.

After that, of course, comes the part that hasn't been very successful that past couple of years - going out and fixing it. 

 Jrue Holiday on Opening Night Struggles: Philadelphia Inquirer

Jrue Holiday opened the regular season Wednesday as the 76ers' starting point guard, enduring the kind of forgettable night that only statistics can illustrate: six points (2-of-9 shooting) and five turnovers in 21 minutes. "Personally, I think I didn't play too well," Holiday said after Thursday's practice. "I forced too many things. I tried to make too many things happen."

"Eventually, those guys are going to be a good mix with each other," Collins said of the tandem. "I think as Evan's game continues to grow, that will help Jrue and they'll both be able to play very well together."

As long as he remains patient and continues to find his teammates, Holiday sees progression within sight. "I just got frustrated last night because I felt like I wasn't helping my team," Holiday said. "I just think I need to relax and really my play game."

Same Article: What of Spencer Hawes?

Hawes had no points (on 0-for-3 shooting), three rebounds, and one assist in 14 minutes. He sat out the entire fourth quarter.

"Defensively, he's done some good things for us. He's in the right spots," Collins said. "But I don't think he's in great shape. I'm hoping as he gets in better shape that he'll start being more assertive."

 Dei Lynam Thnks Holiday/Turner Combo Will Be Fine: CSN Philly

As well as Turner played against the Heat, that is how much second-year point guard Jrue Holiday struggled. Holiday led the team in turnovers (five). He totaled just three assists and his lone two made field goals came in the fourth quarter when he connected on two 3-point shots.

"Running a team, it’s the first time as a player he has been asked to do that so what ends up happening is ‘Should I run the play and how aggressive should I be, and where should the ball go," Collins explained. "Point guards have the toughest position. They’re the ones who have to make sure everyone is in the right spots on the floor. But it was good to see him finish the game with some positive things."

The fact that outsiders question if Holiday and Turner will ever be a compatible backcourt doesn’t help matters, even if Holiday won’t admit to that either. He can find solace in knowing his coach believes they will be very good together one day.

"I think eventually they will play very well together. I think you saw last night that Evan did a lot of things well off the ball, he made some shots, he drove the ball, and so eventually those guys are going to be a good mix with each other," Collins said. "I think as Evan’s game continues to grow that will help Jrue and they will be able to play very well together."

 Mark Hawkins Not Too High on Sixers to Start Season: Associated Content

With the three primary members of the guard corps—Jrue Holiday (20), rookie Evan Turner (22), and Lou Williams (24)—all under 25 the 76ers will experience some major growing pains en route to establishing an identity. With Collins' firm hand directing this young, athletic group they will be more competitive this season.

However, with the Eastern Conference stronger than it has been in years that may not necessarily translate into more wins.

After first 10 Games, the Sixers' Will Be...

(Record 1-9). 

 Sixers Showed Great Heat, Starters Look to Bounce Back: CBS Sports

Despite falling in their season-opener, the 76ers showed some offensive life by outscoring the star-studded Heat 33-17 in the fourth quarter to remain competitive. "If our guys will give this kind of effort every night then our fans will appreciate that, and it's going to equate to some wins," Collins told the 76ers' official website.

Though starters Jason Kapono, Spencer Hawes and Jrue Holiday combined for eight points, rookie Evan Turner, Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young totaled 46 off the bench. "My starters are not necessarily my best players, that's why I said don't get caught up in who's starting," Collins said.

Turner, the second overall pick in June out of Ohio State, could break into the starting lineup after recording 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes of his NBA debut.

"He's a gamer, he really is," Collins said. "I was so proud of him."

 Anti-LeBron Signs from Wednesday's Opener: The Basketball Jones

The profiled signs read:

"I hate LeBron James"

...really gets the point across

"LeBum is the Lyin' King"

...definitely the best Disney-based Bron burn I’ve ever seen.

"I witnessed... no championships" is kind of weird to see in Philadephia. Even though it’s true, it doesn’t make a ton of sense.

 Completely Un-Sixer-Related News of the Day: Really Bad Movie Sequel Titles

Paramount Pictures and Tom Cruise revealed the official tittle for the fourth installment of the "Mission: impossible" franchise today in Burj Khalifa Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The official title is "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol."

"Ghost Protocol" joins recent questionable titles "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Transformers: The Dark of the Moon" as fodder for fans and late night comics alike.