When the Philadelphia 76ers drafted Evan Turner #2 overall out of Ohio State in 2010, they thought they were selecting a franchise cornerstone. Finishing his college basketball career with the Buckeyes, he was as highly decorated as a player can be- sweeping all the national individual awards.
His rookie year did anything but live up to the hype however. Turner really struggled to find a position and his way in Coach Doug Collins‘ rotation. He’s really found himself as a one now in the league. But in his debut season he was playing a lot of two and three. Hence, his rookie numbers were brutal.
This season though, is a new chapter. The Chicago product has earned more playing time and his numbers have improved across the board.
And in the season’s second to last game, Turner started and scored a new career high in points with 29.
He had 10 points in the first quarter, 15 at half, and essentially iced the game for the Sixers with a free throw (putting Philly up four) at 7.4 seconds left in the game. With 13 boards and 6 assists, he was just four dimes shy of a triple double.
It was probably his best night as a pro, but it still had flaws. His defense on Brandon Jennings left something to be desired, and he had to forced some shots with the shot clock expiring. (Turner finished 13-29 from the floor, 1-5 from behind the arc)
“Some of those shots I had to take off with the last second on the clock,” Turner said.
“I never shot that many shots before,” that’s why Coach calls me pistol. So it happens, but we got the win and that’s pretty much it.”
No matter who the Sixers get in the playoffs- Turner’s hometown Chicago Bulls looks likely in the first round, rebounding will matter a lot when determining who gets minutes in the playoffs.
“Evan got 13 rebounds, I think the last time we were here he had 12, so two games here in Milwaukee he had 25 rebounds, and that’s what he does,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said.
“You give him those kind of minutes and he’s going to get those kind of points. Unfortunately for him for our team, it’s just not constructed that he’s going to get those 30 something minutes every night, it’s a shame, it’s just the way we’re built.”
But Collins agrees that Turner has made some strides this season
“He worked really hard in the offseason, had a great offseason, and it was incredibly disappointing for him not to start this year, talent wise he should have started.”
Collins went on to say it’s the personnel that the Sixers have obstructing Turner’s playing time, not Turner himself. So unless Jrue Holiday gets traded, maybe Philadelphia isn’t the best fit for him, maybe when he lands with another team he’ll live up to that #2 overall potential.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports
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