Examining Evan Turner’s Lack of Playing Time

Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

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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  • Darrell Rainey

    You obviously don’t know basketball. Turner isn’t going to the corner because he wants to, he is going to the corner because that is the offensive set the coach calls. When he comes into the game he gets tagged as the last option (Jodie Tag) in which he goes to the corner and prays lou or Jrue passes him the ball. I agree he hasn’t been playing well as of late but he has given valuable minutes in key games until Doug took him out his zone. For Example:

    In the first game against the heat Evan came off the bench and did whatever he wanted to shane battier. Doug took him out in the 2nd qtr and he didn’t see the court again until almost the fourth quarter

    In the clippers game Evan again came off the bench and scored 7 quick points 3 of 3 shooting, came out in the mid 2nd qtr. He then came back in 2nd half to get pulled from the game for a miscommunication.

    We all have a right to an opinion though, if you can’t see him going to the corner as apart of the offensive set your not paying much attention.

  • Darrell Rainey

    You obviously don’t know basketball. Turner isn’t going to the corner because he wants to, he is going to the corner because that is the offensive set the coach calls. When he comes into the game he gets tagged as the last option (Jodie Tag) in which he goes to the corner and prays lou or Jrue passes him the ball. I agree he hasn’t been playing well as of late but he has given valuable minutes in key games until Doug took him out his zone. For Example:

    In the first game against the heat Evan came off the bench and did whatever he wanted to shane battier. Doug took him out in the 2nd qtr and he didn’t see the court again until almost the fourth quarter

    In the clippers game Evan again came off the bench and scored 7 quick points 3 of 3 shooting, came out in the mid 2nd qtr. He then came back in 2nd half to get pulled from the game for a miscommunication.

    We all have a right to an opinion though, if you can’t see him going to the corner as apart of the offensive set your not paying much attention.

    • kyle.bright

      @Darrell Rainey

    • kyle.bright

      @Darrell Rainey Well, yes I guess it sounds like I mean he is tentative by going to the corner but they are seperate. Him going to the corner as part of an offensive set is basically a waste because if Jodie Meeks is in the corner he is a threat from three. Turner is basically just there to get out of the way, which means he has become a waste on offense when he does that, whether the coaching staff is telling him to or not. Maybe the coaching staff does not know what to do with him off the ball on offense, because if most offensive sets have him in a spot where he isn’t contributing anything, then that is a problem, and playing him isn’t really helping the team.

      So, to summarize, I understand that it is part of an offensive set, but if that is the best thing the Sixers can do with him in an offensive set, playing him is not helping the team. May not be his fault, but it is still true.

    • kyle.bright

      @Darrell Rainey

      Well, yes I guess it sounds like I mean he is tentative by going to the corner but they are seperate. Him going to the corner as part of an offensive set is basically a waste because if Jodie Meeks is in the corner he is a threat from three. Turner is basically just there to get out of the way, which means he has become a waste on offense when he does that, whether the coaching staff is telling him to or not. Him spotting up does nothing, because he is not going to shoot a three from there. Maybe the coaching staff does not know what to do with him off the ball on offense, because if most offensive sets have him in a spot where he isn’t contributing anything, then that is a problem, and playing him isn’t really helping the team.

      So, to summarize, I understand that him going to the corner is part of an offensive set, but if that is the best thing the Sixers can do with him off the ball, playing him is not helping the team. May not be his fault, but it is still true.

  • kyle.bright

    @Darrell Rainey

  • kyle.bright

    @Darrell Rainey Well, yes I guess it sounds like I mean he is tentative by going to the corner but they are seperate. Him going to the corner as part of an offensive set is basically a waste because if Jodie Meeks is in the corner he is a threat from three. Turner is basically just there to get out of the way, which means he has become a waste on offense when he does that, whether the coaching staff is telling him to or not. Maybe the coaching staff does not know what to do with him off the ball on offense, because if most offensive sets have him in a spot where he isn’t contributing anything, then that is a problem, and playing him isn’t really helping the team.

    So, to summarize, I understand that it is part of an offensive set, but if that is the best thing the Sixers can do with him in an offensive set, playing him is not helping the team. May not be his fault, but it is still true.

  • kyle.bright

    @Darrell Rainey

    Well, yes I guess it sounds like I mean he is tentative by going to the corner but they are seperate. Him going to the corner as part of an offensive set is basically a waste because if Jodie Meeks is in the corner he is a threat from three. Turner is basically just there to get out of the way, which means he has become a waste on offense when he does that, whether the coaching staff is telling him to or not. Him spotting up does nothing, because he is not going to shoot a three from there. Maybe the coaching staff does not know what to do with him off the ball on offense, because if most offensive sets have him in a spot where he isn’t contributing anything, then that is a problem, and playing him isn’t really helping the team.

    So, to summarize, I understand that him going to the corner is part of an offensive set, but if that is the best thing the Sixers can do with him off the ball, playing him is not helping the team. May not be his fault, but it is still true.