Can a former Team USA member (Iguodala) and the 2010 Naismith Award winner (Turner) play nicely together? In Sarah Palin's words taken from The Economist: "you betcha.” I'd add: "Betcha bottom dollar," except it's too old school.
What does Palin have to do with NBA basketball? Um…nothing. Her ball-handling game was probably Palin comparison to Iguodala’s and Turner’s. Get it? Pale in comparison.
Never mind. Mind this thought, though. Turner’s offensive game and physique are very similar to Iguodala's. I guess that’s why a lot of people doubt the two teammate’s ability to play together. I’m not one of those people.
Sound incredulous? Well, before you detract me too much, roll through this incredibly entertaining slide show put together by my crack staff…me. I digress when I should be speaking of the Sixers’ future.
The crystal ball outlook could depend on Iguodala and Turner gelling. Having one very solid wing player is nice, but having more than enough could make the Sixers world beaters. If Iggy and E.T. can learn to play together, you betcha. Here are 10 ways how they could…
Shades of Scottie Pippen, Turner is made for the point forward position—a position Pip is known for perfecting with the Chicago Bulls under Phil "Retired Big Chief Triangle" Jackson.
Collins’ time as head coach in Chicago afforded him plenty of opportunities to help refine Scottie’s good game. Now Collins has a player in Turner who can fill Pip's role, and Doug should take advantage of it by increasing Turner’s minutes.
Iguodala has the physique and strength of a three. He’s still quick enough to slash to the basket and kick the ball out for corner threes.
Without the ball in the offense, Turner often spots up on the left side of the rim. E.T. needs to get his confidence up from three-point land, and I believe it’ll come with time.
Since Turner is a very confident ball-handler, if Andre slides over to the three spot, then Iggy would be freed up even further to use his athleticism on the boards and defend the other’s team’s best perimeter scorer.
In recent years, the move has been away from power point guards like Magic Johnson and Jalen "Fab Five, Baby, Forget Duke" Rose.
In planning for a potential injury at the point guard position, I’d consider sliding Turner into the slot.
In Phoenix against the Suns last year, he showed the ability to knock down corner three-pointers from a set position without a dribble—hard to do with a defender in your grill.
He had the Suns’ broadcast team wondering why Collins doesn’t play him more minutes.
Iggy has been the No. 1 or No. 2 option in Philadelphia since A.I. left town the first time. Both Turner and Iguodala are unselfish players, for the most part, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
I believe Turner can average over 20 points per game and at least seven assists from a non-point guard position, but he has to have the ball more than Iguodala. Iggy, I don’t believe can put up 20 and seven. His ego, therefore, mainly must be held in check.
At 6’7” and around 210-220 pounds, Turner is a very strong rebounder as witnessed by his wrestling the ball away from Adonis Haslem in his NBA debut last season against the Heat.
I’d actually think about sliding Turner over to power forward in some lineups with Jrue Holiday and Iguodala on the floor backed by a Sixers’ center.
Without question, Turner could possibly become one of the NBA’s best ball-handlers. We saw glimpses of his skills last season. Turner has Steve Nash type vision and passing ability, and his mid-range jump shot off the dribble can be absolutely lethal.
E.T. becoming the primary initiator, though, could mean dealing Jrue Holiday, which would probably be met with a small revolution in Philadelphia—if he were to be traded before Iguodala.
Turner averaged around 23 minutes per game in 2010-11, while Iguodala averages 38 for his career.
If Turner can get at least 30 minutes per game, then he’d probably see more time on the floor with Dre.
Judging by their shooting percentages from last season and over Iguodala’s career, neither one is a dead-eye three-point shooter, but the Sixers wouldn’t have to abandon three-point shooting in this scenario.
While he’s a rock and a behemoth on the boards—proving he doesn’t need the ball at all times to be effective—Turner could improve his game by setting better screens.
But, this is nitpicking.
Let’s face it, I’m searching for something to criticize E.T. about. Next slide, please…
Hey, if Jason Kidd can improve his shot, then Dre and any other NBA player can. Jason was nicknamed “A-son” because his J (jumper) was silent and often entirely missing.
If Iggy can knock down threes at a 40 percent clip, then the Sixers could be looking at a long run in the playoffs.
Turner and Holiday would be breaking him off all day with nice passes for open looks.
Turner can work smaller point guards, shooting guards and small forwards over on the blocks. I’d also isolate him on the wings against fours.
Mark my words, E.T. will put up dazzling offensive numbers before his career is over. I’d entrust him with the reins as the No. 1 threat in the offense. He’d not only be groomed as my closer starting next season, he’d be my opener and middler (Is that a word? No?) Drats.
Well, word on the streets is that we’ve come to the end of another edition of Lake’s City of Brotherly Love Buzz. Shot out to you, my readers, for taking the time to chill with a brother (me). Catch me next time on this same station.