Posted by: Jerry Scherwin
01/18/12 10:37 am EST

Evan Turner has had a bit of an enigmatic start to his NBA career.  In just his second year, Sixers fans and NBA junkies alike, are still not entirely sure what Turner is, or is going to be.  As the second overall pick of the perplexing “more flash than substance” 2010 draft, Turner’s abilities and capabilities where rightfully questioned starting early at Ohio State.

Those questions haven’t ceased. 

Some gathered that Turner would be one of the best overall products of the draft.  Standing at 6-7, 205 pounds, he was drawing comparisons to one Brandon Roy, passing the eye test as a big combo guard with a natural born scorers touch and feel for the game of basketball.

Others weren’t so pleased with Turner, crediting his athletic ability and inability to catch and shoot as giant, blood red flags.

So far in his youthful career, both sides have been right.

Evan Turner is a scorer, which is not to be mistaken as a shooter.  For Turner to score, he needs to create a flow; a flow for himself within a game.  He needs to find his role early on to then figure out how to attack and be, well, Evan Turner.  

His gift at getting to the rim and finishing on a consistent basis has prevented him from developing a strong pick-and-pop, catch and shoot game; something that would arguably guarantee him more minutes under Collins.

But this is all information we’ve all heard, read, and talked about before.  The question still remains, what is Evan Turner?  What will Evan Turner be?  How do we get more of the New Orleans Evan Turner (21 points on 8-12 shooting, 6-rebounds, 4-assists in 31-minutes) and less Utah Evan Turner (0 points on 0-5 shooting, 3-rebounds, 2-assits, one turnover in 18-minutes).

For those that say “start him”, you might want to stop reading now. 

I don’t care how streaky Jodie Meeks’ shooting has become, starting ET is not what’s best for him, this years’ team or the future of this franchise.  

The best scenario for Turner?  It’s to do nothing different than Collins is doing now.  You stay on this path, on this pace.  You give him as much as his young NBA mind can take.  When he proves himself, you gradually give him more.  If he fails, you take it back.

He’s like a teenager learning how to drive.  Like we’ve all done, you start slow in an empty parking lot somewhere. You soon graduate to driving around the neighborhood, hopefully avoiding mailboxes and small children.  Then, it’s the main roads. The main roads at night. The main roads in bad weather.  Only after becoming comfortable with those circumstances and climates do you send that 16-year old up the turnpike.

Right now, Turner is still learning how to drive the massive car that is the NBA around the neighborhood.  

As a famous and insane Hollywood/comic-book clown once said, “It’s all part of the plan”.

Sure, you need to play him more than 18-minutes as he did against Utah, and yes Collins might want to get him in a little earlier in the first quarter for ET to develop a better feel for the game. But that’s it.  Turner needs to continue to develop, learn, and realize that in today’s NBA, being a talented scorer isn’t enough to just give you playing time.  It’s earned based on your resume.  Right now, his resume is as good as a high school dropout due to his inexperience and lack of knowledge. 

ET seems to be getting more comfortable in his reserve role for the 7-6; even if it is a temporary comfort.  He has provided flashes of energy and offensive brilliance alongside Louis and Thad, coming off the pine.  As teams like the Bulls and Mavericks proved last year, having those types of players and options on your bench is just as, if not more important, than the starting five.  The ability to trust your second unit as much as your first is what makes championship teams in this league. 

Without a bench, you’re just the 2011 Miami Heat.  And we all saw how that played out.

I’m not insinuating that I wouldn’t like to see Turner start.  I’m also not saying that I think the 7-6 drafted a glorified bench man with their second overall pick.  What I’m trying to say is that some of the 94WIP Sixers fans need to slow down.  This team is young.  Turner is young.  Trust in the system.  Trust in Collins.  Trust in management. 

So far, at an exciting 10-3, with numerous blowouts under their belt and Turner hitting for 10, 6 & 3 per night,  there is no reason to ruin a good thing. 

There is no reason to throw a 16-year old out on the Schuylkill Expressway at rush hour.


12 Responses to “WHAT TO DO WITH TURNER?”

  1. Coach
    18. January 2012 at 11:16

    this is what i try to tell everyone.

  2. Ransom
    18. January 2012 at 12:04

    While I don’t disagree with your assessment of what to do with turner right now, doesn’t that seem kind of depressing given our options on draft night last year? If we had wanted a player that we were going to bring up slowly why not take one of the younger player with more upside in that draft? Derrick Favors comes to mind. Hell, we could have picked up assets and traded down to get guys Paul George (young, huge upside).

    Or, for that matter Demarcus Cousins should have been an option. He is young, has tons of potential and isn’t even that big of a project production wise, putting up the stats of a top 5 center already. And yes, i know, he has temper problems. But wouldn’t dougie be the ideal candidate to handle that?

    My point is this: with the 2nd overall pick in a draft, you are ultimately trying to wind up with the 2nd best player from that draft. When a team is drafting that high, they need to assuage positional need (except in the rarest of circumstances) and shoot for a star player. Well I think that train has already left. As of right now, Turner is probably the 5th best player from this draft based on current production. And there are still maybe 2 or 3 other guys who have preferable upside.

    Stats have shown time and time again that drafting smartly, and taking true stars when the opportunity presents itself is the best predicator of success for smaller markter team (Read: “teams other than LA, Miami, Dallas and Boston). That’s how the spurs did it, how the Thunder and Bulls are doing it… and i think we missed it.

  3. JT's Hoops Blog
    18. January 2012 at 12:46

    I agree with your assesment. if Turners wants to start, he needs to have a solid perimter game–something that he does not yet has.

  4. DC
    18. January 2012 at 14:01

    didnt the heat make it to the finals last year??? we (the 76ers) already have enough bench firepower in thadd and lou. Ev should be starting and jodie meeks should be a bench player who gets no more than 20 mintues a games (And thats if he’s having a good shooting night).

  5. KRS1
    18. January 2012 at 14:49

    Once turner learns that consistency and work ethic are key to his development, we will have a dangerous player. Agreed we should have went for a big man but Doug Collins will make this work and we still have one of the youngest, brightest teams in the NBA. We still can amnesty Brand this upcoming off season and lure potentially players at the caliber of Love and Howard(well maybe not Howard just yet) with the idea of team concept and the young weapons that could surround their elite talent. We still have to see how this team is in the playoffs as well. This teams future is wide open and bright and turner will most likely be apart of it

  6. RG1
    18. January 2012 at 15:12

    Turner shouldn’t be starting. I watch every sixers game. Turner is incosistent and he doesnt stretch the floor like jodie can. Turner gives us more coming off the bench right now than he would be able to offer in the starting lineup. with him starting the sixers would be a team who gets zones every nite and struggle to score 95 points a game. Collins has done a amazing job with the lineup and should be coach of the year.

  7. Ransom
    18. January 2012 at 15:45

    I definitely think jodie meeks should come off the bench. But to replace him with Turner doesn’t seem ideal. For one, Turner can’t really shoot. And secondly, Lou williams is far and away better than Turner. Lou is easily the best player coming off our bench.

  8. Sean
    18. January 2012 at 16:34

    I agree with you that Meeks should start. I like Turner coming in with Lou and Thad (and Nik Vuc). Turners still averaging the same amount of minutes as Meeks is anyway so to be frustrated hes not starting over Meeks doesnt make sense for those 94 WIP fans.

  9. Kal
    18. January 2012 at 17:18

    You fail to mention that he is one of the top rebounding guards in the league, and an excellent defender. True he has some holes in his game, but his jump shot has improved this year, and he has proven a capable option to handle the ball. Keep him coming off the bench, and as Collins has been wont to do, stay with the hot hands, whether that is Lou, Jodi, ET or Thad.

  10. V8spree
    19. January 2012 at 08:08

    The real question is what to do with Iggy…

    Turner has proven that he has the potential to be a star player in the league. He certainly has to improve his three point shot, but that will come with time and confidence which will only come with playing time. He is one of the Sixers best perimeter defenders already and is among the best rebounding guards we’ve seen in a long time.

    I think Doug Collins is a remarkable coach and has been making all the right moves so far. Meeks is a far better fit with that first unit than Turner would be. Thad and Lou are both scorers and need a distributor on the floor to play their best.

    I say trade Iggy. I know this is an age-old idea and all, but its time to make it happen. This is the highest his stock will rise. His percentages are still decent and he is still young. With the development of Hawes, it is easy to see how valuable a solid big can be. I say trade Iggy for a player such as Greg Monroe. The Jazz also have plenty young bigs we should be gambling on such as Favors or Kanter. Getting a young big that will learn the system this year and learn from Elton Brand this year will really help the Sixers in the years ahead. I would
    1. Trade Iggy for a young big
    2. Start Turner
    3. Amnesty Brand in the summer

    For people thinking the Sixers shouldnt cut brand, or trade iggy…open your eyes…I mean this team is fun to watch and playing very well but that does not mean that a championship is in the near future. The best that happens is we make 2nd round and lose…Then next year Brand is a year older and the team is gonna plateau

    Open up cap space, bring in young talent, continue developing the youth already here. I think there is already a very solid core in place Holiday, Williams, Turner, Young, Hawes, Vucevic, Meeks…

    -Holiday has all the makings of an allstar PG and is very young

    -Williams is instant offense of the bench and can be this generation’s Jason Terry or Manu Ginobili for Philly

    -Turner is a great all around player. Can defend, rebound and score in bunches

    -Thad is a difference maker every time he steps on the floor. Philly has to be excited about his extension

    -Hawes looks like he can be a double double guy for years to come, although I see him coming off the bench down the line

    -Meeks and Vucevic are the type of character guys you want off the bench for years to come

  11. schmitty's stache
    19. January 2012 at 09:46

    I STONGLY disagree, and I believe ET should start over Jodie
    Let’s be honest, Jrue is not a true PG. He got outplayed by Lawson and Miller last night.
    ET should be our PG and let Jrue play off the ball.
    Jodie can be an energy guy off the bench ala sweetLou.
    When given the minutes, ET is producing.
    I think being named a starter will do wonders for his game.
    This is a kid that was the NCAA player of the year.
    He looked a little overwhelmed with pace and athleticism of the NBA game last year, but this year he has more confidence.
    Jrue and ET as the starting backcourt are a mismatch on both ends of the floor.

  12. Philadunkia
    19. January 2012 at 19:41

    Schmitty’s Stache,

    While you can argue that Jrue is not a true PG and that you feel Turner should be starting beside him, you can not argue that Jrue got outplayed by Miller adn Lawson last night.

    If you watched that game closely, you would have seen that Denver was running isolations or pick-n-rolls for whichever of those two was NOT being guarded by Jrue. So, when Lawson and especially Miller went on their scoring sprees, they were being guarded by Meeks or Williams. Of course that was until Collins put AI9 on Miller in the late 4th and OT. He couldn’t stop Miller either. Collins should have realized much sooner then the very late 4th that he needed Turner and Jrue in the game at the same (with AI9 for switching purposes) to handle Denver’s duo of Lawson and Miller. And he should have left Turner (who also was red hot from the field) in the game during the final seconds of OT.

    Yes Jrue did not have a good shooting night (5-15) and finished with only 13 & 4, but to say he specifically got outplayed by Lawson and Miller is a mistake. A number of the Sixers got outplayed by that duo.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    -C. Smith

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