Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Examining Evan Turner's Lack of Playing Time

Evan Turner’s second season in the league really hasn’t been the rousing success I hoped for, and I think a lot of fans share my sentiment. He hasn’t been awful, per say, and there is a definite improvement over the debacle that was his rookie season. He still looks tentative offensively, usually camping in the corner like Ron Ar… Metta World Peace does for the Lakers, and he doesn’t bring the lockdown D that Artest does. Turner also still cannot shoot the three, despite the work with Herb Magee that helped his midrange game, as his three point shooting has actually regressed by a fair margin from last season.

Doug Collins seems to have noticed that, and in the last couple of games, Turner hasn’t been on the court that much. This reached a peak when he played just 11 minutes a couple nights ago against the Clippers, and he has played under 24 minutes in each of the last six games before Monday’s against Charlotte. This is noteworthy because earlier in the year, Turner played over thirty minutes occasionally, and regularly played in the high twenties.

One possibility for this lack of playing time may be the Sixers game against the Magic, when the Sixers nearly blew a gigantic lead in the fourth, and Collins went off on Turner. Turner was visibly angry walking down the tunnel, very much fuming over the lashing Collins went off about. Doug Collins doesn’t usually go off on players like that, and it is very possible that he felt somewhat singled out for what was a team collapse. I really doubt that that would’ve caused such a drop in playing time, and I am pretty sure that Turner and Collins would have gotten past that incident by now.

That idea also isn’t really supported by the fact that Turner wasn’t getting that much time before that went down. He was under 24 minutes the previous two games, and before that he was getting a couple more minutes a game in most of the games. No, the game that his playing time fell off by six minutes or so after was the game against the Nets, a dreadful home loss. He was 3 of 10 that night, and the Sixers lost a game that they really should not of lost. Though it was a collective team effort, Turner was awful. The coaching staff may have seen that as a sign he wasn’t getting the job done, as his previous performance against Washington was bad as well. That would seem like an overreaction, but something must be explaining the loss of playing time.

Oh wait, I think I got it! Turner has really lost his aggression as the season has worn on. Earlier in the year he was driving, getting to the line, and making the free throws. The last few games, Turner has barely been to the line at all, and is also shooting less field goals. When Turner is in the game with a guy like Jodie Meeks, he could really help by going to the rim, because rotations may leave Meeks open, and also because Meeks cannot do that part of the game. Instead, Turner basically spots up like a shooter in the corner with his arm raised for the ball, never getting it. But what would he do if he got it? Shoot a three? He is 24% on those three’s.

This offensive tentativeness is probably being noticed by the coaching staff, unless it is their directions to do it, in which case I cannot solve the benching. Anyway, this whole spot up thing makes me think Turner wants to be, referencing the twitter hashtag, a shooter that can’t shoot.  Turner needs to get his aggressiveness back to help the team and the Sixers on offense.

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