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NBA Philadelphia 76ers

Evan Turner Must Look to Continue Strong Play down the Stretch for Philadelphia 76ers

evan turner philadelphia 76ers hot streak

Dale Zanine – USA Today Sports

On Saturday night, the inevitable finally occurred. A Philadelphia 76ers loss to the Miami Heat, coupled with a Milwaukee Bucks victory over the Toronto Raptors meant it was official — the 76ers would not be going to the postseason this year.

At 31-45, it has been known for a while that this team would not be making the playoffs. Now that it is mathematically impossible, hopefully the Sixers can take their final six games and try to build something positive going into next year.

One bright spot during a recent six-game stretch where the 76ers have gone 4-2 has been the play of Evan Turner. In his last six, Turner is averaging 18.3 points per game, 8.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He is also shooting a remarkable 54 percent from the field during this run, well above his season average of 43 percent.

Turner has been the perfect model for inconsistency the entire season. His scoring average has gone down every single month this season, and he shot 36 percent from the field for the entire month of February. He has faced sharp criticism from Sixers fans everywhere because of his inconsistent play.

One night he will give you 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the next he scores six and shoots horribly. Although this recent stretch is a very small sample size, it is refreshing to see Turner shooting at a high percentage and playing smart basketball.

The team already has an established 1-2 punch with Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young and key role players such as Spencer Hawes and Jason Richardson, but it still remains a question as to whether or not Turner is part of the core of that future.

If he can put together another solid six-game stretch with a high shooting percentage, limiting turnovers and cutting down on mental mistakes, it could go a long way in determining Turner’s future with the club. The 76ers take the court next tomorrow night against the Brooklyn Nets. Let’s see which Evan Turner suits up.

Zach Slotter is a writer for www.rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @zslot6, Like his Facebook Page, or add him to your network on Google.