Draft #2 overall pick Evan
Turner got off to a great
start in NBA Summer League.
However, after his first game things went down hill. In the opener of
the NBA summer league
in Orlando, Turner had 12 points and eight rebounds to help the Philadelphia
76ers beat Derrick Favors and the New Jersey Nets
84-74. Turner got the better of a match-up between the #2 and #3 picks
in the Draft, playing even better than his box score would indicate. But
he really struggled in his last four summer league contests.
Turner has said it himself recently in the Philadelphia
"Horrible. It's not what I expected of myself. I'm not proud of the
way I've played. But I'm glad for the experience," Turner said.
"You just have to play through it. Sometimes you have to take the
bumps and play through that frustration and get on to the next play.
It's a little whirlwind getting acclimated to new surroundings, a new
system and everything. It's a lot quicker. You can't do certain things
you could do in college. You have to make your moves much quicker,"
When "His Royal Smoothness" was drafted, it was believed he and Jrue
Holiday would comprise the 76ers backcourt for the next decade. But he
looked slow, and anything but smooth during most of his summer league
minutes. He struggled to create his own shot, and looked very tentative.
And what held him back could be mental, not physical. For the Sixers
organization, that should be easier to fix. Getting him in the right
frame of mind could be a more correctable task than somehow making him
quicker off the dribble.
analysis of Sebastian Pruiti, I would infer that Turner's
ineffectiveness and tentativeness was partially due to the ball-hogging
of his teammates Marreese Speights, Jodie Meeks, and even Holiday
himself. Lots of players use this league as a platform to make a name
for themselves, and as such often miss the open looks of their
Turner got passed up by some of his teammates on bunnies and open
looks that would have bolstered his numbers and made his box scores more
in line with pre-draft expectations. His final line for the 5-game
exhibition reads: 9.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 33% field goal
Of course, it's WAY TOO EARLY to say Turner won't meet his lofty
expectations. It all depends on how he adjusts between now and the
tip-off of the regular season. Maybe Turner will gain poise and
perspective from his struggles? Or maybe he's still just adjusting to
the NBA game? Stephen Curry had a less than stellar summer league last
season, but he still ended up on pretty much everybody's NBA All-Rookie
teams last season.
76ers Coach Doug Collins and GM Ed Stefanski have both said they are
not surprised by Turner's slow start. Both have brought up the fact that
he hasn't played organized basketball since his Ohio State Buckeyes
were eliminated by the upstart Tennessee Volunteers in the sweet sixteen
round of March Madness.
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank
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