It's been a long while since the Philadelphia 76ers have had a true superstar to talk about, but 10 years after Allen Iverson's 'Practice" rant the Sixers may have their next true superstar in swingman Evan Turner.
The No. 2 pick in the 2012 NBA draft has had his struggles in a Sixers uniform, but things seem to be turning the corner and as of late the talent that Turner displayed at Ohio State has been coming out more consistently.
Turner scored in single digits in 40 of Philadelphia's 66 regular season games and really struggled in the month of February, averaging a paltry 5.1 points per game.
But Turner started to pick things up in March, when he averaged 11.1, and had similar success in April, averaging 10.9. He's up to 14.0 points per playoff game and has the look of an evolving NBA star.
Turner's not just a scorer though. He is comfortable as a facilitator and is a very good rebounding guard (6.3 RPG in playoffs).
No matter how far the Sixers go this postseason, they may have something special to build around in Turner.
Looking at Turner in the future, he will probably never be a player who averages 20-plus points per game, but he will be a guy who can average around 17 points, six boards and six assists. There aren't too many players in the NBA who produce in that fashion and Sixers head coach Doug Collins would be more than happy with those numbers.
But it's his defense that will make him special. It's his defense that created an opportunity for Turner to get significant minutes and he's taking advantage of it. He's a guy that just doesn't allow the opposition to take good shots.
He applies tremendous on-ball pressure and never takes a possession off at either end of the floor.
But the important thing is that Collins now has confidence in the second-year pro. He plays late in games and the Sixers offense now runs through him at times.
You can see Turner's confidence growing by the game.
He no longer looks like a potential bust, but a player that can be a key contributor for years on a pretty good Sixers team.
As for being an All-Star?
Well that will have to wait a while, but the future is definitely looking much brighter for both Turner and the Sixers.