How Evan Turner Can Turn Career Around for the Philadelphia 76ers

By Zach Slotter
Brace Hemmelgarn – USA Today Sports

Now in his third season with the Philadelphia 76ers, Evan Turner has not lived up to the hype of being the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He is averaging a career-high in points (13.5), rebounds (6.4), and assists (4.3). In fact, only Josh Smith, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce and Lebron James are averaging those types of numbers in all three categories this season.

But, his critics are more concerned with his career-low 42 percent shooting from the field, his inability to compete on the defensive end of the floor, and his constant dribbling of the basketball without any sort of ball movement. ET may never be the player Sixers fans were hoping for, but there are a few things he could do to his game to become a good NBA player.

Turner has a unique skill set that not many possess. He is a 6-foot-7, 220-pound point guard, and is a much better player with the ball in his hands as he has had a knack for setting teammates up very well. Turner needs to run the point and become more of a distributor rather than a scorer, simply because he is not a good enough shooter and is too slow to create space from the outside.

He needs to use his large frame against smaller guards and take them in the post in order to get his shot. Turner could stand to be more aggressive on the floor and try to get to the free throw line. At Ohio State, where he won National Player of the Year, Turner averaged 5.9 free throw attempts per game.

This year with the Sixers he is averaging only a mere 2.6. He needs to take an aggressive approach to the rim instead of constantly pounding the ball into the ground and pulling up for a contested jump shot.

Lastly, Turner needs to simply stop sulking. We have read that confidence is an issue with this kid, and part of that can be blamed on head coach Doug Collins, who toyed with his minutes in his first two years and even started Jodie Meeks over him.

But, Turner dominated the college game and he has to understand that it is going to take some time to get the same kind of calls at the pro level. He needs to stop hanging his head when he misses a shot because it takes him out of his game for the night.

We have seen flashes of brilliance from Turner this year. He has the capability to give you a triple-double any given night, but the inconsistency is maddening. Until he relaxes on the court and uses his body to his advantage, many critics will refer to him as a draft bust. Turner has his fourth year option picked up for next season, which might be his last chance to prove them all wrong.

Zach Slotter is a Philadelphia 76ers writer for Follow him on twitter @zslot6, “like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google

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