Sixers player evaluation: Justin Holiday

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Sixers player evaluation: Justin Holiday

Note: Over the next couple of weeks we will recap the Sixers’ season by evaluating each member of the roster.

Justin Holiday

Position: Guard

Status: Signed through 2013-14 for a non-guaranteed $788,872.

Signature game of 2012-13
Holiday appeared in just nine games after signing on April 1. He scored a career-high 11 points on April 15 in Detroit in 28 minutes and followed it up with eight points in 27 minutes in Indiana in the season finale on April 17.

Holiday in 2012-13
Jrue’s lean and lanky big brother scored 42 points in his nine NBA games, but he turned in a solid season in the D-League for the Idaho Stampede. In 47 games in the D-League, Holiday averaged 17.3 points per game, shot 42 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range and had five games in which he scored 30 or more points.

Prospectus
Coach Doug Collins lauded the elder Holiday for his perimeter defense and experimented a bit by having Justin guard point guards in a few games. The defensive versatility could be Holiday’s calling card in landing a permanent job in the NBA next season.

“He is long and active. I think he can guard one through four,” Jrue Holiday said about his brother. “Obviously, by his build you guys wouldn’t think he was strong enough, but he can handle himself down there.”

On Justin Holiday
“We think he has a chance to be a really good defensive player. We played him some at the point guard position defensively tonight and we played him some at the two. He reminds me a little bit of Michael Cooper out there with his speed and his quickness. I really wanted to give him a chance. With him, Damien [Wilkins], Dorell [Wright] and Jrue, I thought we had a good perimeter.”

-- Doug Collins, April 13, 2013

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story). 

Joel Embiid 'shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry'

Joel Embiid 'shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry'

NEW ORLEANS -- Of all the players Joel Embiid could be compared to, a similarity between a 7-foot-2, 270-something-pound center and a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard wouldn’t seem like a match.

That’s exactly what Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry sees, however, when looking at Embiid and reigning MVP Steph Curry.

“He’s different than anybody that’s been in this league in a long, long time,” Gentry said Thursday before the Sixers win over the Pelicans. “He’s a tremendous talent, he really is. I’ve never seen a guy that size, and with that kind of strength, that’s got such a soft touch. He shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry. It’s so soft when it leaves his hand.”

Curry is shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from three. Embiid is 45.8 percent from the floor is 44.2 percent from long range.

Embiid flashed a big smile and paused to react when hearing of Gentry’s praise. He had been feeling hard on himself after going 0 for 5 beyond the arc against the Pelicans (see story).

“Steph is probably one of the best shooters in the league right now," Embiid said. "So that compliment means a lot."