Are the Philadelphia 76ers giving the Jazz a sneak peak of their future tonight?
Tonight Philadelphia will start with a two guard set of Jrue Holliday and Evan Turner. Neither will be defined as the point guard. In a traditional sense Holliday is the point guard and Turner the shooting guard, but at Ohio State Turner was the primary ball handler and at UCLA Holliday wasn’t.
This will be the 4th game for the 76ers with this guard lineup and interesting it was increased the assist numbers for Holliday while Turner has finally had productive days in the NBA.
Where it can be most dangerous is on the defensive end. Holliday (6’4 180) and Turner (6’7 205) are both long and active. The problem with this line-up is neither is a true shooter and will struggle to stretch the floor. To Holliday’s credit he knocked down 37% of his three’s in his career while Turner is just 25%.
When the Utah Jazz drafted Alec Burks (6’6 202) they mentioned they believed he could play some point guard. Gordon Hayward is obviously better when he has the ball in his hand. Is it possible the Jazz could one day follow the lead of the Holliday/Turner backcourt and play a line-up of Burks and Gordon Hayward (6’9 210).
The main difference is neither Burks nor Hayward was the primary ball handler at the college level. Burks had Cory Higgins at Colorado and Shelvin Mack had the ball the majority of the time at Butler.
However, Burks and Hayward may have the skills to achieve this. They would be longer than the Holliday and Turner combo. As the NBA goes to more and more offensive point guards and more and more pick and roll at the top the point guard is going to have to become a bigger player.
Similarly, to the 76ers combo Burks and Hayward would have a hard time stretching the floor with their outside shooting.
How the remaining pieces of the Jazz roster fill out will likely dictate if we ever see this combo, but it is worth watching the 76ers combo this evening.