Evan Turner didn’t play as poorly as most would think. Everyone, please put the “bust” talk on hold and give the kid a chance. It’s only been one season.
The second-overall selection in the 2010, NBA draft was thrown into a situation in Philadelphia that took some getting used to. During his time at Ohio State, he was the main focus. He ran the show, controlled the ball and scored at a tremendous rate. The 76ers took him out of his element and made him into someone he’s never been before.
He went from being he floor general, to just another guy on the court. He came off the bench for most of the season and was barely given a chance to control the flow of the game, mostly because of the 20-year-old, Jrue Holiday and his breakout season at the point. The Sixers forced him to become a catch-and-shoot guard.
The NBA, and especially one’s rookie season, is all about finding a comfort zone. Turner’s year wasn’t smooth, but at the same time, it wasn’t dreadful. Actually, his numbers are approximately on the same level as Andre Iguodala’s 2004-05, rookie year.
Through this previous season, Evan Turner averaged 23.0 minutes a game, compared to Iguodala’s 32.8 minutes per-game in his rookie season. That’s a 9.8-minute difference, for those of you who don’t care to do the math. Now, lets calculate their rookie production; each stat on a scale of per-48 minutes.
13.23 points per 48 minutes
4.39 assists per 48 minutes
8.35 rebounds per 48 minutes
2.46 steals per 48 minutes
0.86 blocks per 48 minutes
49.3 field goal percentage
74.3 free throw percentage
2.48 turnovers per 48 minutes
15.09 points per 48 minutes
4.24 assists per 48 minutes
8.17 rebounds per 48 minutes
1.31 steals per 48 minutes
0.37 blocks per 48 minutes
42.5 field goal percentage
80.8 free throw percentage
2.14 turnovers per 48 minutes
Now, what can you take from this? The numbers indicate that Turner scored more points, but put up less impressive defensive numbers. It’s not very fair to try and compare Turner’s defense with Iguodala’s, being that Andre is known around the league as an extraordinary defender.
Both of their rebound and assist numbers are nearly identical, Iguodala’s shooting percentage is better (mostly because a chunk of his points were dunks and Evan Turner is in the midst of learning his role as a catch-and-shoot scorer) and Turner is more efficient from the foul stripe.
So, can we all take a deep breath and give our prized rookie more than a year to prove himself. His first year was full of trial and error, which was a season-long learning experience for the 22-year-old guard.
I know being patient isn’t your strong suit, Philadelphia, but relax and take a sigh of relief. The kid can play ball.