Should Turner Come Off The Bench?


Doug Collins has all but announced that Evan Turner will start at the two this upcoming season. Jrue Holiday will start at point guard, with Andre Iguodala moving back to his natural small forward spot. Whoever starts in the frontcourt is almost irrelevant seeing how Jrue, ET and Iggy all need the ball in their hands to perform. If you watched any of the Sixers summer league games (Take my word for it, i watched all five), you saw Holiday excel while Turner struggled. I’m a big Turner supporter and I think he will be a very good basketball player, but I don’t think hes a shooting guard now, and I don’t think he ever will be. Turner ran the point for Ohio State last year and dominated every second he was on the court, winning every player of the year award. Turner works best with the ball in his hands, penetrating and setting up scoring chances for himself and his teammates. I repeat, not a shooting guard.

So what do you do if your Doug Collins? Theres a lot of pressure on the first year coach to play Turner, to show off the #2 pick in the draft, and to win right away. I think the best way to do that is to bring Turner off the bench. Hear me out… The Sixers have no backup point guard. Lou Williams can come off the bench in the “JR Smith / Jamal Crawford” role that comes natural to him, while Turner can run the point for the second unit. Jodie Meeks has shown a lot of growth this summer, adding some strength and showing a toughness in the summer league that a lot of us didn’t know he possessed. Meeks could start at shooting guard, giving us an outside threat that the starting unit would otherwise be lacking. The second unit would be one of the more talented in the entire league (We all saw how far the Phoenix Suns bench took them in the playoffs this year).

Here’s how the depth chart would look with this scenario…

Starters:
Pg: Jrue Holiday
Sg: Jodie Meeks
Sf: Andre Iguodala
Pf: Elton Brand
C: Spencer Hawes

Bench:
Pg: Evan Turner
Sg: Lou Williams/Willie Green
Sf: Andres Nocioni/Jason Kapono
Pf: Thaddeus Young
C: Marreese Speights/Jason Smith

I think this scenario gives the Sixers the best chance to compete for a playoff spot. Only time will tell if Collins agrees with me…

Tags: Andre Iguodala Doug Collins Evan Turner Jodie Meeks Jrue Holiday

  • Alex Selarnick

    great point you make jq, clearly as the #2 pick theres a ton of pressure to start right away and i think that will be a factor, if not the main factor, in collins choice… (not that hes the only one making the decision, everyone in the organization wants turner to start)

  • DL

    Good job, I agree, but where is Bingo in the lineup?

  • Ian Packman

    Great point. Could they also bring Brand off the bench so that the team can run more?

  • Ron Glinski

    First off, Collins is NOT under pressure to win immediately. To put that on him would be putting unfair expectations on he, and the roster. Any coach coming to a young team, that got younger, and is coming off a poor season can NOT be expected to win right away. And the Sixer organization does NOT expect Collins to do such.

    Lou Williams should NOT be mentioned in the same breath as Jamal Crawford. Crawford is far superior to Williams, who should probably be honing his game in the D-League. He needed college in the worst way, and while he can be exciting at times, makes far too many mental mistakes- the same ones over and over. At this time, there are many who believe that Williams won’t be on the roster by Opening Night. And the roster WILL be quite different from how it’s currently constituted.

    There’s thought around the organization that Meeks needed to play superb defense, and shoot the lights out, both during the Summer League, and come Training Camp, in order to remain come November. Basically, there’s going to be one roster spot to be had amongst Green, Kapono, and Meeks. All three are seen as bench players throughout the league.

    This team is not ready to compete for a playoff spot. The additions of Turner, Nocioni, and Hawes does not make them markedly better than last year. Also, bear in mind that when Doug Collins has had to coach young players, he’s had little success. His Chicago rosters were of the mixed variety, and his best season in Detroit was with a roster loaded with 30-and-over guys. And most certainly, the second unit cannot be referred to as one of the more talented in the league. That’s very much a stretch.

    • http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1465350014 Jason Quint

      We will make the playoffs this year, I can almost guarantee that. Eddie Jordan ruined us last season, with any other coach in the entire league we win more than 27 games. And aside from the top tier teams, the east is way down this season in terms of depth. Toronto and Cleveland both won’t be able to truly compete for a playoff spot. Counting the Bucks and Bobcats, which might be a stretch, I count only 7 teams in the east better than us. I think were right there with those 2 teams and could be as high as the 5th or 6th seed in the east.
      Next, I didn’t compare Lou Williams to Jamal Crawford, I said we could put him in that role. I sort of stereotyped Crawford and Smith as guys who can come off the bench and get shots up. Lou struggled last season because he was asked to run the point as well. If Turner handled the ball for the second unit, there would be less pressure on Lou, and like him or not as a player, he can score the ball.
      Meeks has been seen as a bench player so far in his career because he was a second round draft pick who wasn’t ready to play significant nba minutes coming out of Kentucky. But if you saw him last season compared to now, hes added some strength and is diversifying his offensive game. He still shoots lights out, but hes added an attack mode that I think he’ll be able to carry over from the summer league to the regular season.
      Finally, I really don’t think its a stretch to say that we have a real good bench. Thaddeus, Lou and Speights are all above average scorers for respective positions. Throw in an intelligent, high IQ guy like Turner and yes, I think we have a very good bench.
      The one big problem I could see with this scenario, which will be a problem regardless of who starts at shooting guard, is defensively. Collins is going to have his work cut out for him convincing some of our young guys to play defense. But I think he is the perfect guy for the job, I love and have endorsed his hiring from day one, and I really expect big things from him. For all those reasons, I believe there is some pressure to win right away. Otherwise, Stefanski would have moved Iguodala and tried to start over. He thinks the team is good enough to win a few games with the roster we currently have.

      • Ron Glinski

        This team is going to be PREDICATED on defense! If they don’t play defense, they WON’T be here! With this roster, the idea is going to be play defense, and run. They are going to try very hard to be in half court sets as little as possible. My question is how they fit Band into that equation.

        I am NOT ready to anoint Meeks the starter, much less guarantee his roster spot, based on a weeks worth of play against guys that probably won’t be on NBA rosters come October. He’s guaranteed nothing, and according to my sources within the organization, his job during the summer, and beginning in camp is to play defense, and shoot the lights out, or most likely, look for another team. I would HARDLY call him a lights out shooter last season, or in the summer league. Good, yes. But not starting material.

        While I will not, and can not argue that Jordan ruined last season, he also helped the league to see how flawed the Sixers roster is. A coaches job is to put players in position of strength, and Jordan failed miserably in that area. However, since the roster isn’t much different, the flaws are out there, and teams will be trying to force Sixers players towards their weaknesses. That’s alot to overcome for Collins, especially in one season.

        Collins, for the most part, is NOT here to win. He’s a one-contract coach, and his goal is to build towards winning. He’s the guy facing the least pressure in the organization. To that end, however, again- consider his record trying to develop young players- not good at all.

        Part of the reason, despite anything Stefanski says, that Iguodola is still here is that nothing offered was attractive to him. An aging, injury riddled McGrady? C’mon. The offers out there for Iguodola were risks, and to that end, it was better to keep.

        Lou Williams makes too many mental mistakes- again, the same ones over and over- to be put into the Crawford-type role. Crawford is instant offense and energy. With Lou, you don’t know what you’re getting any time he’s inserted.

        ALso keep in mind that this team still has moves to make. Don’t plan on seeing the roster, as currently composed, in Opening Night. They need get a solid, veteran PG to back Holiday up. And they are looking to move some guys out of here.

  • Justin

    Good points all around. I like the idea of giving players time to develop as opposed to throwing them in the fire. However, I don’t see the sixers having any seed in the playoffs higher that 7th, regardless of whether Turner starts or not. Heat, Magic, Bulls, Celtics, Hawks, and Bucks are ahead of them IMO. At least Turner is out of the Big 10 and can no longer make last second, heart breaking, buzzer beaters.

  • Ron

    As a prominent Philly writer/talk show host remarked to me when told of this article: “The Sixers do have one of the best second units in the NBA. Unfortunately, they’re all starting.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1465350014 Jason Quint

    The name of this post is “Should Turner come off the bench?” Not, “Turner MUST come off the bench.” Its just an idea. An idea that in my opinion, an opinion that in the grand scheme of things means less than nothing, would make us a better basketball team. I don’t have sources within the organization, I’m a 20 year old college student. Try taking this a little less personally.

    But in response to your prominent talk show hosts comments, hes absolutely right. And thats why we aren’t contending for a championship. We have a roster full of role players. But you can have a below average starting lineup and still have an above average bench. When any number of our 11 or 12 guys can, and probably will throughout the course of the season, start games for us, that means we have a good bench. You can disagree with that, fine. But its the truth.

  • Ron

    No. It means that they have a bad basketball team. If some of these guys, in particular, Lou Williams (should he be here), Meeks, or Kapono ever starts, it speaks to just how bad a team they are. If you have below average starters, but an above average bench, your bench players and starters roles would, and should be reversed. Otherwise the Head Coach and GM should be fired. When you can sit and honestly say that a teams bench is stronger than its starting five, you’re admitting that it’s one bad basketball team.

    My personal opinion as far as Turner isn’t far off from yours. I feel that either Turner or Holiday needs to come off the bench. I feel very strongly that pairing a first and second year player as your starting backcourt can be disastrous. But they’re going to do it, it’s going to be a tough season, and there’s no way they’re a playoff team. Especially with no depth at PG, should Holiday struggle. Many feel players should be thrown right into the fire. If this was a strong veteran team, I’d concur. This team does NOT have a strong veteran presence- in terms of leadership and playoff experience.

    I take nothing personally. You make points in your work that I disagree with, and counter. I base my thoughts on years of being in and around the game- through personal experience and that of others with whom I speak. They just happen to be in direct contrast to your thoughts. Believe me- should I agree, or have the people around me agreeing, I’d be the first one in here supporting and expanding on your points. This, however, is an area where we disagree.

  • silverbax

    Here’s some video of Doug Collins discussing the team during summer league:

    http://www.basketballelite.com/index.php/sports-business/doug-collins-interview-2010-nba-summer-league/