Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 3/12/12

Evan Turner Age Begins In Philly.

Since being drafted 2nd overall by the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers last season, most of us have been waiting for Evan Turner to earn his keep, and convince us that the Sixers didn’t blow another high draft pick. We were given a few glimpses here and there to provide and argument on both sides of the conversation. This season however, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t think Turner is on his way to superstardom. Given the way John Wall is playing this season, you could even make a case for him deserving last years top spot in the draft. Evan however, couldn’t buy a spot in the starting lineup last season, and saw very sparing minutes. Is it possible for a player to develop into what appears to be a much more skilled and confident player in such a short amount of time?

What was it that kept Turner from having a breakout “rookie of the year” type campaign? Obviously, someone mishandled the early development of Evan on the NBA level. He wasn’t prepared for the speed of the game. He was no longer the most athletic, or smartest player on the court resulting in lost confidence. He just didn’t have what it took to be successful in this league. Or, the exact opposite was true. Coach Collins knew it, and knowing how fragile a young players psyche could be, decided to wait until he felt the perfect opportunity had presented itself.

I personally feel as though a bit of both were true. Sure Evan was no longer the best at his position. He didn’t know everything, nor was he adequately prepared for the NBA. But the blame doesn’t really fall on anybody’s shoulders in particular. Doug Collins is a great coach. He’s played in the league, and he’s coached some of the greatest players to ever lace em up. The Sixers didn’t need Evan Turner to be a superstar last season. Team expectations were low from a fan’s point of view, and if buying some time helped to ensure that Turner would be absolutely ready for the challenge when it was presented, doing anything else would be a disservice.

While we as a fan base wanted to see our 2nd overall pick tear up the court, the flip side to that is Evan stinking it up and all of us turning on him, in turn possibly ruining him. What we’re seeing now is a kid that worked hard on his game in the offseason. Put in his work to improve on his deficiencies, and take the time to become a better all around NBA player. Sure all of that work wouldn’t guarantee anything, but the fact that the will and desire was there speaks volumes about the drive that Turner possesses.

Was there even a spot for him in the lineup? I for one never thought Evan Turner and Andre Igoudala could coexist in the same starting lineup with much success. In my mind, Iggy would have to be traded for Turner to gain any significant playing time. Similar players, with similar skill sets. But given as much as I’ve rooted for Igoudala’s contract and inability to close a game to be unloaded, his play this season almost makes me forget all of his shortcomings. The way he and Turner have played together this season shows unselfishness and willingness on both parts to make it work. Thus far they haven’t disappointed.

Averaging nearly 15 points, and 10 rebounds in the last 5 games Turner is definitely turning it up. Especially since he’s only averaging 35 minutes in that stretch. Given time, I’m certain the best is yet to come. Some of the players around him are likely to change, but regardless of that Evan Turner will continue to justify the confidence the Sixers showed in drafting him, and earning the respect of us fans that so mightily deserves.Similar Posts:

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  • The “D” and Coach Collins Land the Sixers a B Halfway Through the Season
  • 76ers Keep Winning Despite Lack of Support at Home
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