The Sixers are a team that is eight deep, with the difference in talent between one and eight proving minimally different. But that may change as time goes by.
Jrue Holiday is in his third NBA season. He is 21 years old and played just one year of college basketball at UCLA. When he has days as he did Monday afternoon -- when he was 11 of 17 from the floor for a game-high 24 points, while also contributing five assists, three rebounds and five steals -- Holiday looks capable of producing great things for many years to come.
What Holiday did offensively Monday was matched by his defensive prowess on Milwaukee point guard Brandon Jennings, who scored seven points with two assists and three turnovers. Jennings came into the game averaging 19 points per game.
"I thought Jrue Holiday had his best game of the year, Doug Collins said. He was fabulous on both ends of the floor. I actually believe when Jrue is in that situation, where he is working so hard on the defensive end, I think that activates his offensive game. We were so worried about Jennings getting in the lane and all the devastation he does in there. He had three turnovers and only two assists."
Holiday's defense on Jennings was instrumental in the 94-82 win, which moved the Atlantic Division-leading Sixers to 6-0 at home and 10-3 overall.
"I try to slow him down as quick as possible," Holiday said of his gameplan to guard Jennings. "Its a team effort. It is kind of hard to do it by yourself, so it helps having those bigs out there to help. Teammates Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes, they stayed in front of him until I got back."
Holiday was the 17th pick in the 2009 draft. Five point guards were selected ahead of him, including Jennings at No. 10. Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn and Stephen Curry were the other four. And while those five play on teams that are currently below .500, Holiday plays an integral role on a winning team.
A winning player, Holiday is also a spiritual person. Although he is not loud about his faith, he is certainly proud of it.
"How I started off in the NBA, I didnt really get a chance. And now I am here and our team is winning, and I consider it a blessing from God," Holiday said.
Faith and sports became a conversation with the Sixers point guard as we were discussing the impact of Tim Tebow on the public consciousness prior to Tebows departure from the NFL playoffs Saturday night.
Like Tebow, Holiday is very familiar with the Bible and often refers to it for inspiration and guidance.
"I definitely grew up in the church," Holiday said of his parents exposing him to his faith. "We went to church on Sundays. Thats how we built community with my friends, through the church. But, at a certain age, you have a choice to keep the faith, and thats what I chose."
Holiday figures he was in high school when he made that conscious decision to stay with his faith and churchgoing. Those who follow Holiday on Twitter will notice how he often makes reference to the Bible in a subtle way. On his home page he references a verse that is at the core of his existence.
"What it says is: 'Apart from him I could do nothing,'" Holiday said of his Twitter page highlighting John 15:5. "I feel like God gave me my talent. God gave me my ability to play the game. So, without him, I wouldnt be here."
E-mail Dei Lynam at email@example.com.