Increased minutes taking toll on key Sixers

Increased minutes taking toll on key Sixers
January 25, 2013, 4:15 pm
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Jrue Holiday played his worst game of the season Tuesday night in Milwaukee, tying his season-low with three made field goals and scoring in single-digits for only the second time in 42 games. He also tied a season-high with eight turnovers.

“I was tired,” Holiday said of his play. “I know if I am tired Thad [Young] is definitely tired because he is going against guys who are 30 pounds more than he is and he is running up and down the court like that. I had Tony Parker then Brandon Jennings. Obviously that’s the NBA, but sometimes that takes a toll on you.”

Young looked equally exhausted, shooting 5 for 16. Young finished with 11 points and nine rebounds but it was a long night and a tough matchup for him against Ersan Ilyasova, who for a second straight game scored a season-high 27 points.

“They have carried a heavy load," coach Doug Collins said of his two leading scorers, Holiday and Young. "To be in that game with those guys being 8 for 28 with 10 turnovers and have a four-point game with six minutes to go ... it has been a big concern of mine all season long trying to monitor how much they practice, trying to keep them fresh. Reality is that was the only back-to-back we've had in a while. The schedule has softened up, not in who we play but how many games we are playing.”

Fortunately, Tuesday’s game did not cost Holiday his all-star nod and it shouldn’t have. Through 42 games Holiday is the league’s 13th leading scorer and ranks fourth in assists. He does continue to lead the league in turnovers.

“That is obviously a concern of mine,” Holiday said of his 4.0 turnovers per game. “I know it is a concern of coach’s too but I think they will come down. Turnovers altogether are killer for him. Every time I turn it over I feel like I can feel it inside him and that hurts me too.”

Collins attributes Holiday’s high turnovers to growing pains -- pains that come with increased responsibility. Holiday is not alone in going through this "growing up as a basketball player" process.

“We knew that with Jrue and Evan that they are two terrific young players but there would be a little bit of a learning curve that goes with that,” Collins said. “It is a new role. Evan played 27 minutes a game last year and now he is upwards of 36. There is a process you have to go through when your role becomes bigger. It’s a growth.”

Turner led the Sixers in scoring Tuesday with 23 points. He had a solid start to his season but then went through a 15-game stretch when the schedule was rigorous where his play dipped.

Still, like Holiday, Turner is putting up career numbers with his 14.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 41 percent shooting from long range.

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