Posted by: C. Smith
02/26/13 12:51 am EST

It goes without saying that 2012-13 has been a major disappointment for the76ers.  Outside of the stellar play from Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday, not much has gone right for Doug Collins & Co. over the first 53 games of this season.

Since January 1st, the Sixers own a record of 7 wins and 15 losses.  As we all know, the team is currently stuck in a 5 game losing streak and has dropped 6-of-their-last-7.  Included in this most recent stretch of losing is a 19 point loss to Indiana, a 17-point L to the Clippers and a 114-90 beat down at the hands of the Miami Heat.  In short, it’s been ugly for the Sixers of late.

So if I told you we found a silver lining among all of that garbage would you believe me? 

Would you think I was totally crazy if I told that one of the few positives I could pull from watching the Sixers over the last six games was the play of Evan Turner?

You would be hard pressed to find a bigger Evan Turner critic then this scribe, so as I re-watched the recent string of Sixers games, I found it hard to believe that I was asking myself this question, “Is it possible that Evan Turner is playing better basketball?”

The “eye ball test” tells me that Turner may in fact be playing at an improved level and a after quick look at the basic stats from the last six games one could argue in favor of my suspicions.  However, if you dig a little deeper there is evidence that suggests Turner is playing at the same old disappointing level.

After the jump, I’ll provide you with a look at the facts and you can decide for yourself what is going on with Turner over the last six contests.


Again, I want to state for the record that I am not a big fan of Evan Turner’s game and that his play drives me absolutely crazy at times.  Still, when I started thinking back about the Sixers last 6 games and pondering who may have played well over that stretch, one name (besides Holiday) kept popping into my brain – Evan Turner. 

So I went to the DVR and checked the video evidence.  After watching the “tapes” it is possible that Evan Turner is playing…how should I say this?…less inconsistently.  IMO Turner certainly is scoring the ball better thanks to a more aggressive mindset on offense.  He also seems more decisive when he has the ball and is doing a better job of recognizing when he has a mismatch.  Most importantly (for me) in the last 6 games, Turner appears to less prone to pounding the ball into the floor until late in the shot clock.  He was certainly far from perfect (his defense is not good) over the last six games, but on tape he didn’t make me want to puke like he usually does.

After the video check, I dug into some stats to see what I could find.  Here’s what I have for you…

Over his last 6 games Turner is averaging 16.6 points; 6.1 boards and 3.8 assists per game. 

For comparisons sake his 2012-13 season averages are 14; 6.6 and 4.4 per night. 

In case you need a reminder, Turner’s depressing career numbers are 9; 5 and 3 per run. 

So over the last 6 games Turner is scoring at a nicely improved clip over his season average and he is obliterating his career scoring number.  The rebounding and assist numbers over this recent stretch have shown no significant swing in either direction.  These numbers would seem to support some of what I saw on the tapes.

Still, here is also a great deal of statistical evidence from the last six games which indicates that the video tape is deceiving me and in fact Turner’s play has not been so improved.

Turner is shooting 38.8% (40-103) during this recent period.  That’s below his season average of 42.5% as well as his career average of 43.2%.  Turner does own 3 games of 40%+ shooting over those 6 contests, but the 38.8% overall average is not good.

Of course we are all aware that Turner has been abysmal from deep in the last 6 games – 0-12.  Enough said.

Throw in the fact that Turner is hoisting up an unprecedented 17 FGAs a night of late (season avg. 13.3 / career avg. 9.3) and you have an inefficient scorer on your hands.

His TS% for the 6 game stretch is 44.05.  That number is off from his season average of 49.0 and the 47.5 he posted during the lockout shortened season last year.

Turner has also been good for 3.5 turnovers a game which is higher than his season average of 2.5 per game and well above his career average of 1.6 per.  A nearly 1:1 assist to turnover ratio is deplorable for an eighth grader let alone an NBA player.

Perhaps most importantly, the Sixers are 1-5 during the last six games…

Again, on tape Turner appears to be playing at an improved level over the last 6 games. 

However, the numbers indicate that idea is not necessarily true.

You have the evidence, so let’s hear what you have to say.   


7 Responses to “IS TURNER PLAYING BETTER???”

  1. MattSg
    26. February 2013 at 03:32

    He is playing better . Lets not jinx him now lol
    Then again this is what he always does plays good, then decent , then like sh*t, then bad, then horrible, then decent again .etc…

  2. chris
    26. February 2013 at 08:08

    I think some of the problem is that the sixers have so many possessions per game, (someone with some spare time can figure out how many), we need someone to shoot the ball. Remember last year when the sixers would just pass and dribble around till the shot clock was out leaving AI to take a terrible shot. I see less of that this year and in part its due to Turners aggressive play. With jrue getting doubled on almost every play and spencer unable to hit a jumpshot to go along with an inability to get to the tin, the only options in my view to get shots up are turner and doughoused dorrell, and a nick young step back jumper.

  3. Wang
    26. February 2013 at 19:35

    I really expect to see ET could be granted more ball handling than he is currently given. At some nights, when ET’s possession increased, he seems more prolific.

    I’d like to see DC experimenting with different approaches and game plans at to allocating the ball handling and shot taking, although I highly doubt that I will really see that under DC’s tenure,

    ET really needs the ball, he is not a shooter nor a great penetrator. With that said, being without ball put him in a useless position.

  4. rzzzzz
    26. February 2013 at 23:17

    turner can be a headcase, and doug has been pushing the former college player of the year out of his comfort zone for most of the 3 years since he’s been here. he may never be all that, but it sure is wild how sometimes he takes over the whole game for 10 or 15 minutes and puts up crazy good stats. someday he may play for a coach who’s a little more motivated in building around that.

  5. Paolo
    27. February 2013 at 12:03

    ET has a lot of potential as the skill set is unarguably there. He may not be very athletic, but he can handle the ball, is a very good passer, and can score from the post and mid range as well as rebound.

    Problem is his attitude seems to get in the way and his basketball IQ leaves something to be desired. He’ll drive when he should shoot (and vice versa) and dribble out the clock waiting for a lane to open up and then force a contested attempt. Often it seems like he’s predetermined that he’s either going to shoot, drive or pass before he’s evaluated the defense. He’s still young, but the clock is ticking for him to figure out his game and start making better decisions. Once he gets some situational awareness, he could be quite an asset. Question is – can he obtain that in Philly under DC?

  6. Steve Toll
    27. February 2013 at 12:25

    Evan Turner is without question one of the most overall negative players in the NBA.

  7. Hank
    27. February 2013 at 16:57

    Agree with Steve on this one. It’s flat out embarrassing that, considering how terrible he is, he is still getting the amount of PT that he is. The only reason for this would be tanking, but if we were doing that we should also be playing Moultrie, which would have the added benefit of seeing what we have with him.

    I’m consistently amazed by how many low percentage shots he is capable of generating. He is not a good defender. He is too slow laterally to be a ball hawk at that end, and his propensity for ball watching and, thus, losing his man also makes him a poor help defender. What makes it even worse is that most players who ball watch tend to get steals, but Turner miraculously isn’t even capable of that.

    He is horrid. Seriously baffling to me that we’re apparently trying to win games, but we play Turner over Dorrell Wright, who is blatantly and significantly better than Turner.

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