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The Sixers can only boast the rawest backcourt in the NBA. It’s also their biggest hope that brighter days are ahead. Barring a surprising move by Collins for the Oct. 27 opener against the Heat, the Sixers will start Jrue Holiday at point guard and Evan Turner at shooting guard. Turner, the Associated Press Player of the Year at Ohio State, turns 22 next week, and Holiday turned 20 this summer.

If they play to their potential, there’s great promise for the future.

“We’ve spoke on it a few times and we definitely are really excited about growing together and hopefully bringing some great tradition back,” Turner said, “and playing some great basketball this year and the years coming.”

It could mean some painful learning experiences this season, though.

That’s something Brand and Andre Iguodala know all about. Those $80-million Sixers are considered the stars of the team, but they’ve won very little in their NBA careers.

Iguodala finally got a taste of success when he won a gold medal this summer playing for the U.S. team in the world championships. Playing under coach Mike Krzyzewski, Iguodala toned down his offense to become a reliable defensive stopper. He took some time off during training camp to recharge and get ready to handle the bulk of the scoring load.

“It was just a great feeling to just experience with those guys,” Iguodala said. “People ask me about the gold medal all the time and I say it’s not that big of a deal, the actual gold medal. It’s a great thing to have in my closet, but, just the experience outweighs anything else.”

He won’t come close to the NBA equivalent of a gold medal this season. But he would like to at least reflect on a playoff series and not a trip to the draft lottery.

“It’s not hard,” Iguodala said, “to see good things are happening here.”