If yesterday’s Sixers-Celtics game is in any way a preview of what a series between these teams would look like, head coach Doug Collins may have to reevaluate his decision on Evan Turner.
For only the second time since March 23, Turner played more than 10 minutes, and turned out to be the silver lining in a disappointing loss to the Celtics. Turner played 33:26 minutes on Tuesday, and was the leading scorer on the team with 21 points. Turner also had five assists and three rebounds.
Turner’s playing time had been cut short since the Sixers took on the Hawks two weeks ago. Not only had he only gotten more than ten minutes of playing time once, but the number two overall pick had two “DNP-CD’s” which is a fancy acronym for “He was benched.”
Doug Collins explained, “Benches sometimes do get shorter for the playoffs.” My speculation is that he wants players like Lou Williams and Andres Nocioni, who normally battle Turner for playing time, on the floor more because they offer playoff experience, something that this young team lacks a lot of.
But the hamstring injury to Lou Williams last Saturday gave Turner a chance to audition for playing time in the playoffs. While usual heroes Andre Igoudala, Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday struggled against the reigning Eastern Conference champs, it was the young, “inexperienced” Evan Turner who stepped up his play against a quality opponent.
If the Sixers do in fact play the Celtics in the first round, I think Collins should let Tuner play. While he is only a rookie and has no playoff experience, if the Sixers feel Turner is the future of the team (I would presume the do If they drafted him 2 overall.), then eventually he will need playoff experience, so why not give him the big game experience now?
After all, he proved last night he can do something that no other Sixer was able to do; drop 21 points on the big, bad Boston Celtics.