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Sixers get look at Holiday in summer league

ORLANDO - During one of the first plays of the 2009 Orlando Pro Summer League, 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday passed to forward Marreese Speights and cut toward the hoop.

ORLANDO - During one of the first plays of the 2009 Orlando Pro Summer League, 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday passed to forward Marreese Speights and cut toward the hoop.

It happened again midway through the fourth quarter.

Both should have been quick-hit give-and-go's except Speights couldn't connect on the "go," with both passes landing out of bounds.

After the second miscommunication, Speights made eye contact with Holiday, put his hand to his own chest, and said, "My bad, Jrue, my bad."

Although the "bad" belonged as much to Holiday as to Speights, it was an interaction that marked Speights as the veteran, Holiday the rookie.

Yesterday, Holiday, the 76ers' first-round pick in the 2009 NBA draft, logged his first professional minutes at the summer league being held at the RDX Sportsplex.

Holiday, the second-year Speights, and Temple's Dionte Christmas joined eight players from the New Jersey Nets, including draft pick Terrence Williams and second-year player Chris Douglas-Roberts, to form a combined summer league team.

The Sixers/Nets opened the summer league yesterday afternoon against the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers won in overtime, 75-67, although summer league scores hold about as much weight as a paper plate.

The league runs through Friday evening and features seven NBA organizations forming six teams: The Sixers/Nets, Pacers, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Utah Jazz.

Sixers assistant coaches Mike O'Koren and Aaron McKie are working with New Jersey coaches Roy Rogers and Tom Barrise.

Sixers head coach Eddie Jordan, who watched from just behind the bench, said he was "not a fan" of the joint squad.

"I like working with your own players," Jordan said.

The Sixers/Nets play the Jazz today at 5 p.m.

For a point guard in the making, Holiday's numbers in his debut were high in the wrong places: eight missed shots, 27.3 percent shooting, and five turnovers.

"You come up here in the summer league, and you're playing against guys from the D-League, and some veterans and guys are trying to make teams," Jordan said. "You're going to turn the ball over. You're going to have some breakdowns."

But, like Holiday's eagle-wide wing span, a couple of other numbers also stood out: four steals and at least twice as many deflected passes.

"I was happy all around, although I did have some bad turnovers," Holiday said.

Holiday's final line was 3 for 11 from the floor with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, 5 turnovers, and 2 blocked shots in 37 minutes, 56 seconds of playing time. He spent much of the afternoon glued to Indiana's Will Blalock, who finished 1 for 5 with 4 points and 7 turnovers.

Although Holiday had costly turnovers at the end of regulation and overtime, his quickness, length, and effort on defense are unlike anything the Sixers have on their roster.

"I thought he played well in spurts," said Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski, who watched the game with assistant general manager Tony DiLeo. "I thought he got tired."

Speights finished with game highs of 28 points and 11 rebounds in 36:51 of game time, although he took twice as many shots as anyone else on his team, many of them coming from distance and two from beyond the arc.

Christmas played just over 16 minutes and finished 1 for 3 with 2 points.