Found March 09, 2012 on isportsweb.com:

Evan Turner‘s time with the “Night Shift” in Philadelphia is coming to an end, and it’s about time.

After spending the last two years helping fuel the Sixers’ second unit, nicknamed the “Night Shift” by coach Doug Collins, the former second-overall pick is moving into the starting lineup permanently.

Collins said that Turner would be in the starting lineup for the rest of the season following his career-high 26 point, nine rebound performance against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. He played a season-hight 37 minutes in just his second start of the year, and showed the athleticism and basketball IQ that Philadelphia tapping him as the second pick behind John Wall in 2010.

Turner had a career night in his second start of the season against the Celtics.

When the six-foot-seven Turner was drafted out of Ohio State pundits wondered exactly where he would fit in with Philadelphia as the team already had a playmaking swingman in Andre Iguodala (and his shiny new contract) at the small forward spot. Those concerns were realized as Turner had a slow start and failed to show the shooting ability to play two-guard in the NBA. He played well at the swing forward spelling Iguodala, but didn’t show enough to supplant his in his first season.

In the offseason Turner committed himself to improving his game, including his jumpshot. The result was an improved player still stuck behind Iguodala. But it did lead to an expanded role as part of the Sixers’ lights-out second unit that tortured teams without the same depth as the Sixers.

But inconsistent play from starting shooting guard Jodie Meeks opened the door for Turner. Meeks, a knockdown jumpshooter, has struggled this season inside the three-point arc and is oft replaced by sixth-man Lou Williams after the first TV timeout. But Williams is a proven scorer off the bench and provides more impact to the team coming off the pine rather than starting from the opening tip. Without another viable option on the roster, enter Evan Turner.

Collins gave Turner the start Wednesday against the Boston Celtics, and was rewarded with Turner’s best game as a pro. The Illinois native was 11-19 from the field, 1-3 from three-point range and recorded 26 points and nine rebounds. He also played a vital role on defense, holding Boston’s Ray Allen to just two points.

Let’s dig into what Turner brings to the table for the Sixers in the starting lineup. The Sixers have trouble rebounding the ball without center Spencer Hawes. Enter Turner, who rebounds the ball extremely well for his position and is averaging more than 5.7 rebounds in just over 24 minutes of action a game. He’s athletic enough to be able to steal some defensive rebounds as well as a few on the offensive end, which gives the offensively challenged Sixers some much-needed extra possessions per game.

Turner plays excellent defense, much better than that of Meeks, who has been lit up this years by some of the league’s better two-guards. Turner is long and athletic, which gives guys like Ray Allen fits on defense, he closes out on every shot and provides great help defense to a team that already plays solid defense.

He sees the floor very well and is an above-average passer. While some talk of him being a point guard might be overstated, he is a player that excels with the ball in his hands. That is a problems because the Sixers already have a solid point guard in Jrue Holiday, but Holiday has a good jumpshot and moves well without the ball unlike Turner. I have no doubt the two could have success playing on the floor at the same time.

So what isn’t to like?

His shooting.

He’s shooting just 41% from the field and doesn’t shoot the three all that often or very well. Before his 11 of 19 shooting performance against Boston, he shot 1 of 12 from the field at Milwaukee. Though he had 12 rebounds and four assists in that game, no team can win with a starting two-guard shooting 1 for 12.

So he can’t shoot, but if he creates enough open shots for Sixers that can shoot, like Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams, then it won’t be a big of a problem.

Regardless of whether this experiment works or not isn’t a huge deal. The Sixers are currently getting little to nothing out of its starting two-guard Jodie Meeks, so why not try an option that could provide more? It’s a no-brainer, and it’s just time to give Turner a chance to see if he will be a difference maker from opening tip or coming off the pine as a part of the “Night Shift.”

It’s a gamble the Sixers and Doug Collins can afford to take.

 

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

76ers’ Evan Turner Laughs Last

The Philadelphia 76ers selected Ohio State's Evan Turner with #2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. I was on the court when the Philadelphia 76ers selected Evan Turner with the 2nd pick of the NBA Draft in 2010. There was an excitement that night. A buzz. More than that though, there was a hope that maybe the 76ers could pull themselves out of the funk they had been in. Last...

Williams, Young lift 76ers past Jazz, 104-91

Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young scored 21 points each, lifting the Philadelphia 76ers past the Utah Jazz 104-91 on Friday night. Evan Turner had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Jrue Holiday also scored 16 point, and Andre Iguodala added 10 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Sixers, who followed Wednesday's 32-point victory over the Boston Celtics with another impressive...

Evan Almighty Dominates the Jazz

Evan Turner helped the struggling Philadelphia 76ers earn what they hope was a key victory their last time out. They may need a similar performance from him if they want to end their struggles against the Utah Jazz. The Sixers’ new starting shooting guard looks to build on arguably the best performance of his career when his team, seeking its first back-to-back wins in nearly a...

76ers 104, Jazz 91

Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young scored 21 points each, lifting the Philadelphia 76ers past the Utah Jazz 104-91 on Friday night. Evan Turner had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Jrue Holiday also scored 16 point, and Andre Iguodala added 10 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Sixers, who followed Wednesday's 32-point victory over the Boston Celtics with another impressive...

Utah Jazz-Philadelphia Sixers: Instant Analysis

The Philadelphia 76ers started the season out as perhaps the league?s biggest surprise. They darted out to a 20-9 record, before losing eight out of 10. They appear to be back on track. After Wednesday?s blowout win over the Boston Celtics, they kept things going, soundly beating the visiting Utah Jazz 104-91. The Sixers used a strong second half to put Utah away, outscoring the...

Jazz-76ers Preview

Evan Turner helped the struggling Philadelphia 76ers earn what they hope was a key victory their last time out. They may need a similar performance from him if they want to end their struggles against the Utah Jazz. The Sixers' new starting shooting guard looks to build on arguably the best performance of his career when his team, seeking its first back-to-back wins in nearly...

Sixers beat Knicks, 106-94, at Madison Square Garden

Sunday’s 106-94 victory over the faltering New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden marked the third win in a row for the suddenly resurgent 76ers. Lou Williams came off bench to score 28. Evan Turner posted yet another double-double, finishing with 25 points. Oh, yeah. The guy that Doug Collins says is his team’s best rebounder pulled down a career-high 15. The Sixers (25-17...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.