Holiday, Turner Set To Return Friday; Lou's Return
Looking to snap a five-game losing skid, the Sixers got some much-needed good news Friday morning, when guard Jrue Holiday and swingman Evan Turner told the media they'd both be available when the team takes the floor against the Atlanta Hawks later in the evening.
Holiday has missed the team's last four games with a sprain of the longitudinal arch in his left foot. The Sixers' leader in both points and assists this season now says he's ready to return to action.
"Yeah, I'm playing today," said Holiday, grinning coyly after being asked to give a binary answer to the question. "I feel like if I had come back any earlier, I guess the result of what happened would've been the same. I probably would have been out anyways because my foot was pretty bad. Again, the trainers took care of business and I'm good to go.”
Holiday noted that he's benefitted over the last few days from head athletic trainer Kevin Johnson utilizing a different method of taping the foot.
Evan Turner announced following Friday morning's shoot-around that he would suit up Friday night, as well. The 6-7 swingman suffered a mild ankle sprain in the third quarter of Wednesday's loss to the Houston Rockets. He attempted to re-enter the game, but was quickly removed after experiencing discomfort.
Rookie guard Maalik Wayns, who started his first career game Wednesday in Holiday's absence, is a game-time decision Friday with pain in his right foot.
Lou Williams Embraces Philly Roots
Guard Lou Williams spent seven seasons in Philadelphia, before signing with his hometown Atlanta Hawks as a free agent this summer. Drafted in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft, Williams spent his first two NBA seasons becoming acclimated to the league; in his third season, he became a staple in the Sixers' rotation, improving incrementally in each of the next five seasons. His stay in The City of Brotherly Love was given an exclamation point last season, when he finished second (to James Harden) in Sixth Man of the Year voting, after becoming the first player since Dell Curry in 1993-94 to lead their team in scoring (14.9 PPG) without starting a single game.
Friday morning, the 6-3 guard met with the Philly media, speaking warmly about his time in Philly.
"It's one of those games where it'll be emotional," said Williams. "This is my first time back and I spent a lot of time in this city, obviously. For me to come back, it's going to be fun. It's a game I look forward to.
"I almost talk to [Evan Turner] two or three times a week, after a lot of each other's games. And I still speak with [Thaddeus Young]. Those are the two guys that I was the closest with on the team, outside of [Denver guard Andre Iguodala]."
Updated: 1:10 PM, December 21, 2012