Let’s be honest, Evan Turner hasn’t really impressed anyone so far in his professional career on the Philadelphia 76ers and we as fans know it. However, there is still much time and room for improvement for the former Ohio State Buckeye as his career really only just beginning. The only issue is that Coach Doug Collins wants to see his breakout year sooner rather than later.
After being brought along rather slowly by the coaching staff in his first two years, it’s his time to finally break out of his shell and show the fans exactly why was drafted. Turner will likely be the starter for Collins this year (even though I’m against it) and he will be led primarily by two things that stick out in his bevy of skills.
First, Turner’s defensive capability when it comes to grabbing rebounds per game, will be personified this season, no matter what acquisitions the Sixers made in the frontcourt. Collins suggests that he may be the best defensive rebounding guard in the NBA, whether we believe it’s a stretch or not, Turner has produced the numbers to back it up. He averaged 7.5 rebounds per game in the 2012 NBA Playoffs last season.
“That’s how I play,” Turner said after a session at St. Joe’s Hagan Arena on Tuesday. “I was the best rebounder on the team last year. It’s what I do. I’m getting boards baby.”
As that’s the first realm of his game, Turner will display his defensive prowess this season again, however his offensive capabilities are mostly what numerous fans and critics are concerned about, and it’s the missing piece separating him from a player and a star in the league.
His offensive prowess needs to step up if he really wants to make a statement in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. There were games last season where he stepped up and played wonderfully. For example, the whole month of March — where in just 3-4 games starting, he shot 63 percent from the floor and scored 87 points while having two double-doubles in that stretch. But there were also the games where he would play 30+ minutes and not score a single point. It’s games like those that worry fans the most.
But make no mistake about it, Turner is still going to get his starting time one way or another.
“He’s grown up the last couple of years and he’s really learned the NBA game,” general manager Tony Dileo explained. “He has tremendous skill and this is a great opportunity. We have to have some players step up for us and we’re looking at him to do that.”
It’s a make or break year for Turner. Either he shines or fades from the star we all want him to be.
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