Philadelphia 76ers: Grading Rookie Evan Turner Through the All-Star Break
After finishing off the first half of the season 27-29, the Sixers have made a huge step forward from last season.
They are comfortable playing with each other, Doug Collins is doing a tremendous job and Elton Brand has made a major rebound from last season.
Not all of the chips have fallen the Sixers' way the first half of the year, considering they lost 10 games within five points. However, they have been on a hot streak lately.
At first, they started the season on a dreadful note with a 3-13 record, but they later bounced back and finished with a 24-16 record.
Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Now as we look back on the first half of the season, we start to take a deeper look at each player's game and how they have had an effect on the Sixers' season. For today, we'll analyze and discuss the No. 2 overall pick, Evan Turner.
For some odd reason, some fans have already put a bust label on the young player. It is way too early to jump to conclusions. Give the man some time.
Turner was a No. 2 overall pick for a reason and has a lot of potential in the league.
The funny thing about this is that it's his best ability, even though he's a shooting guard.
Do you know how many Sixers games I've watched and seen Turner take a rebound from a big man?
Turner has been given at least 30 minutes of playing time this month just three times. But in those three times, he recorded eight rebounds twice and six rebounds the other (let's keep in mind it was in barely over 30 minutes).
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Turner isn't the most athletic player, as we all know. This means that instead of getting his points with athleticism like most players in the NBA, he has to use his craftiness.
Most players in the NBA made it there because of their athleticism. However, there are very few who make it to the league like Turner.
Therefore, Turner starts off at a disadvantage. But if he uses his craftiness the right way, he can overcome the deficit.
Craftiness requires more use of ball-handling skills and being aggressive.
At Ohio State, Turner did a tremendous job of this, and I don't think that talent just disappeared.
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This is by far what Turner has to focus on the most. He needs to improve on his outside shot.
If he wants to be a threat at every aspect, he needs to work on his long-range shot. It is a vital skill that he must obtain in order to be a premier shooting guard in the league.
Right now his three-point percentage is .270.
Having said that, Turner's mid-range shot is not bad. He has a solid field goal percentage of .409. Not great, but it's still solid.
Turner is also doing good job at the line, hitting 80 percent.
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Turner hasn't made a huge impact individually, but his minimal playing time has certainly had an effect.
When given playing time, he has proven he can be a productive 2-guard.
He has already shined numerous times when Iguodala is not playing. He has scored double-digits six times when Iguodala is out, one of which he had a season best, scoring 23 points and five rebounds.
Not to worry Sixers fans, he'll come around.
Once Andre Iguodala starts to focus on being the complement to everyone and being that facilitator (which he is starting to do already), Turner's impact will increase.
Developing Basketball IQ
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Throughout this season, he has made a lot of mistakes. However, it is expected, because he is a rookie. When you're young, you are going to make mistakes and that's fine.
In fact, the more mistakes Turner makes now, the better. Every mistake he makes, he learns from it. The more mistakes, the more he learns. Makes sense?
Part of a factor of him becoming a smarter player is getting more playing time.
I feel like he needs to get the feel of being an everyday player more because that's what we need him to be.
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Turner had a great junior year at Ohio State. Last year, he won the Naismith Award and all signs were pointing to a positive road for the young, upcoming star.
After being drafted second overall by the Sixers, Turner had very high expectations. And if those expectations were not lived up to, then you know he'd hear it from Philly fans.
Well, now we are halfway through his rookie season, and Turner hasn't really hit a spark just yet. Because of this, fans are starting to doubt Turner.
But one important thing that fans don't know is that Turner's rookie season at Ohio State was not that great either.
Right now I'm going to pull up some stats of Turner's first year in college and first year in the NBA.
Rookie season at Ohio State: 8.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.
Rookie season with the Sixers: 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.
Deja vu, huh?
Turner had tough transition in his first year at Ohio State as well, but in his next two seasons he made a name for himself.
The exact same thing can happen next year for Turner.
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Turner still has a ton of potential. At random times this season he has shown flashes of greatness.
He has had several games this season where he has lit it up and played the way he did last year.
If Turner improves on the things he needs to work on and transitions well into next season, he is looking at a bright path ahead of him.
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The 76ers have a very good player in Turner. For those of you who call him a bust, you're wrong.
He has a few aspects of the game in which he needs to work on in order to achieve success. However, I believe that he can do it.
He has a lot of talent and he was the second overall pick for a reason.
If he improves on things that needs to improve on, he can be a very good player in the league.