Found December 16, 2011 on Buzz On Broad:

N-20111216164626-v
The games don't count until December 26th, but no one appears to have told anyone on the Sixers that.

Talking to players during Media Day on Wednesday, it was clear that this team has one objective going into tonight's game against the Washington Wizards: win the game.

"Preseason games, we're trying to win. We're trying to win every game," said Jrue Holiday. "That's just how we are, it's how we compete. We're going to give it our all and leave it all out on the court."

 

While head coach Doug Collins likely is glad to hear his young leader say that, the fact is that a lot more is on the line in these two games then a win or a loss. Starting jobs, spots in the everyday rotation, and filling out the end of the bench are all decisions that will have to be made over the next 2 games, instead of the 8 pre-season games last season. 

So what will the coaches likely be looking for tonight? Here are some of the key questions going into the game.

* Jodie Meeks or Evan Turner: 4 of the 5 starters for the Sixers are already decided: Holiday at point guard, Andre Iguodala at small forward, Elton Brand at power forward and Spencer Hawes at center. Shooting guard, however, is still up in the air as Jodie Meeks and Evan Turner battle it out to see who will be the teams 5th and final starter. Make no mistake about it: Collins and team president Rod Thorn want Turner to win the starting job. Meeks is a player likely better suited to come off the bench, and Turner showed in Ohio State that he can be the player this team needs- a pure scorer. Turner will have every chance to win the job over these next two games. Can he take it?

* Nikola Vucevic- There has not been a Sixer's first round pick in a long time that has had as little pressure on him as Vucevic.  A lot of that likely had to do with the fact that few fans can pronounce his name, let alone know who he is. The lockout starting after the draft took away a lot of post draft discussion, and really sent Vucevic into obscurity into the eyes of the fans. But Thorn and Collins brought him in for a reason- he is a solid rebounder, something that this team struggled with at times last season. It would be nice to see Vucevic step on the court tonight and show he can hold his own against NBA big men.

* Jrue Holiday- Holiday gained the reputation last season as a strong defender, and he will get a chance to prove that tonight against Wizards PG John Wall. Wall is right up there with Chicago Bulls PG Derrick Rose when it comes to athletic, scoring point guards. His first step is as quick as any in the league, and showed last season that if he gets going he can knock it down from both the midrange and 3 point line. 

* Lavoy Allen- Players like to talk about playing with a chip on their shoulder. Well, perhaps no player in the league has a bigger chip on his shoulder then Allen, who was named by ESPN the worse player in the entire NFL this off season. Allen was a do it all player at Temple, as he was a solider rebounder, defender and had soft hands on the offensive end. But in the NBA, a player does not last if he does not excel at one thing. Allen needs to find out what that one thing can be tonight. 

 

* Speights Trade Value- It is no secret that the Sixers are looking to trade former first round pick Marreese Speights, which means that he could see significant playing time tonight as they try to feature him to other teams in the league. Of course, with the Sixers first game coming closer and closer, if Speights plays well enough he could end up being a contribute on this team. Speights is the best pure scorer the Sixers have down low. Coaches will look to see if he has improved on the defensive end, and whether or not has has improved enough to remain on this team. 

Follow Buzz on Broad Staff Writer Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Maurice Evans returning to Wizards

Maurice Evans has agreed to come back to Washington for a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. The deal is contingent upon Evans passing his physical. The Wizards were hoping to add a veteran small forward to one of the league’s youngest teams and had been in frequent communication with Evans’s agent, Roger Montgomery...

Wizards hire shooting coach to work with Jan Vesely

About a half-hour before the Wizards’ first shoot-around of the preseason, rookie forward Jan Vesely was shooting free throws with a black strap wrapped around his left thumb and extending to his elbow. Coach Flip Saunders brought in shooting coach Jay Wolf to work with Vesely on his form, and Wolf has a shooting strap that allows players to maintain the proper form with his guide...

Wizards get a new look and new optimism

John Wall took a glance down at his Wizards uniform, looked back up and grinned. The Wizards have abandoned the blue, gold and black look that came to represent the past three lottery seasons and gone to a new, retro look that hearkens back to the old Bullets look. “I like the new colors. Compared to what the court used to look like, its different, more exciting,” Wall said...

Preseason open thread: Wizards vs. 76ers

The Washington Wizards open the preseason tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers at Verizon Center with new uniforms and they hope a fresh, winning attitude. Discuss the game — and the new look — in the comments below. You can also join the conversation on Twitter with Michael Lee (MrMichaelLee) and Gene Wang (@gene_wang). Read full article >>

Hawes Impressive in Sixers 103-78 Win Over Washington

During training camp, Sixers head coach Doug Collins talked at lengths about the improvement that Spencer Hawes has shown in practice. On Friday night, Hawes backed up his coaches talk. Hawes finished with an impressive 14 points on 6-8 shooting in the Sixers 103-78 win over the Washington Wizards to give the team a win in their first preseason game of the season.  The teams starting...

Video: John Wall Shows Off The Bounce Against The Philadelphia 76ers

  The NBA preseason got underway tonight with Bulls/Pacers, Cavs/Pistons, Hornets/Grizzlies, and Wizards/Sixers. Washington Wizards point guard John Wall fought nagging injuries to his left foot and right knee during his first season that limited the speed and quickness we had become accustomed to seeing from him. Over the summer in exhibition games Wall seemed [...]

76ers 103, Wizards 78

With new 76ers owner Josh Harris sitting behind a baseline, Lou Williams scored 19 points and Philadelphia beat the cold-shooting and light-defending Washington Wizards 103-78 on Friday night before a sparse crowd in the first of two post-lockout exhibition games between the teams. Relying on the core that led them to last season's playoffs, the 76ers shot 51 percent. It was...

The Wizards did live-band karaoke Wednesday night

There is apparently no video, but here, at least, is photographic evidence that the Wizards took a team journey to Hill Country Barbecue on 7th Street Wednesday night for Rock ‘n Twang live band karaoke. “Shelvin Mack & Chris Singleton delivered a hell of a karaoke performance,” one observer tweeted. “Shelvin and Chris did Spend It remix by 2 Chains & TI. Singleton...

John Wall’s Monster Crossover and Dunk on the Sixers

We mentioned it in today’s Smack, but it deserves it’s own look here: In last night’s preseason Wizards/Sixers game, near the end of the third quarter, John Wall dusted Evan Turner with a crossover and then unleashed hell on Craig Brackens. Not a bad start to the NBA season – John Wall look ready to [...]

Washington Wizards re-sign Maurice Evans

The Washington Wizards announced today that they have re-signed guard/forward Maurice Evans. “Mo was a very good midseason addition to the team last season and we are excited to have him back with us,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld.  “In addition to the versatility and athleticism he brings to the lineup, he gives us another solid [...]

Union VP Evans gets one-year deal with Wizards

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Swingman Maurice Evans, a union vice president during the NBA lockout, has re-signed with the Washington Wizards.

Wizards re-sign veteran Evans to one-year deal

Swingman Maurice Evans, a union vice president during the NBA lockout, has re-signed with the Washington Wizards.

Wizards Re-Sign Maurice Evans

Maurice Evans averaged 9.7 points and 2.8 rebounds for the Wizards last season.

Ted Leonsis, youthful Wizards not looking in rearview mirror

Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis opened media day as expected Thursday, with an unfailingly positive attitude about the team and a forward-thinking attitude and approach to the upcoming season. "I was watching a documentary the other day about the founder of the Ferrari race car company," Leonsis said. "He was ...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.