Evan Turner is simply shining right now. The 25-year-old is averaging 23.5 points a game and is fresh off a monster 31-point and 10-rebound effort in a thrilling double-overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Turner is playing at as high a level as he ever has in his career. We have simply never seen this player in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform before. He has been a mark of consistency this season. You can count on him for 20 points, 5-6 rebounds, and to play solid defense on a nightly basis. The biggest difference for Turner? The coaching change. Under Doug Collins, Turner seemed to squeeze the basketball and knew if he made any mistake, he’d risk being benched.
Brett Brown has a totally different style. He is giving guys like Turner free reigns in his uptempo attack. Turner can make mistakes and not have to look over his shoulder. This freedom has allowed him to really break out as a player. It isn’t just Turner either. The other “veterans” on the squad like Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young are all playing as well as they ever have.
It is no coincidence. Brown is a heck of coach. This raises the question though. Do the Sixers now change their long-term plans? It was the general sentiment that GM Sam Hinkie would ship out guys like Turner, Young and Hawes for what value he could get in return. What complicates things is that Hawes and Turner are pending free agents.
Hinkie might have to re-think things. All of these guys are playing incredible basketball under Brown in this system. They have certainly outperformed expectations. Turner’s stock is probably at an all time high right now, and he’s only 25-years old. The best is still yet to come for Turner. He is having an All-Star campaign, and looks like a keeper for now and the future.