Evan Turner's Improvement
Not sure if this has been brought up yet but Evan Turner is having a great season and is finally looking like he may live up to his much maligned number 2 overall draft day selection.
In his past 17 games (excluding the game he left early with an ankle injury) Evan has averaged:
18.4 ppg 6.7 rpg 4.7 ast 0.8 stl 0.3 blk
This stat line is pretty impressive but what I think is more impressive is how he has improved his shooting numbers
During this span he is shooting 47.5% from 3 on 1.1 3pm for 2.35 3pa
These are very good by any measure until you take into consideration that this guy shot just 22.4% from 3 last season. This is an incredible improvement and given the amount of games sampled, most likely more than just an aberration.
Moving on, Turner's FG% during this span is 47.3% on 7.5 field goals made for 15.7 field goals attempted per game
these are solid numbers as well showing an increase from 44.7% shooting last season to 47.3% in the last 17 games (FG% numbers on the season are essentially equal to last years). The difference here isn't too drastic until you take into consideration that this season Evan has been given a much larger role and is asked to take many more shots 4.5 more per game on the season and 6.5 more during the 17 game sampling...Usually an instance such as this would yield a decline in FG%...Evan's has increased.
Furthermore, Evan Turner plays 3 positions (SF, SG, PG) each game for the 76ers. He is finally playing with confidence knocking down corner 3's, dishing out assists as Jrue Holidays backup, boasting an improved mid-range game, displaying excellent rebounding numbers (2nd best on his team, 0.5 RPG behind Thad Young), and showing off his ability to get to the rim. He is having an excellent all around season.
The one thing that is keeping him from stardom right now is the ability to get to the stripe, he is currently shooting 2.9 a game at 81%, which isn't terrible, but isn't fantastic either. If he can get up to 5 or 6 free-throws attempted per game and continue this kind of play, he can truly become a star in this league
Now as for living up to the number 2 overall selection...
The top 10 picks in the 2010 NBA draft are as follows...
1: John Wall (clear #1 overall selection been injured all season)
2: Evan Turner (see above)
3: Derrick Favors (still a work in progress but has shown some very impressive things this season, we have yet to see what he can do with consistent starters minutes)
4: Wesley Johnson (no comments necessary)
5: Demarcus Cousins (could be a perennial all-star and 20-10 guy...Right now he is suspended indefinitely and killing my fantasy team with his attitude)
6: Ekpe Udoh (already 25, hasn't shown much at all)
7: Greg Monroe (stud big man who can do a little bit of everything)
8: Al Farouq Aminu (verdict is still up in the air)
9: Gordon Hayward (Solid rotation player)
10: Paul George (numbers are actually very comparable to Turners, shooting percentages are a bit worse)
Theres a few other players from this draft worth noting but the point is, given Evan's production this season, and comparing that to the other standouts from this draft, who would you take in front of him? Maybe Greg Monroe, maybe Paul George, Maybe Cousins without the red flags? Bottom line, the NBA draft is a bit of a crap-shoot and after watching Evan play this season with confidence and showing versatility, I no longer think it was a mistake taking him with the #2 overall selection.
One Final point. I remember seeing Evan Turner being compared to Brandon Roy pre-draft on this site. Go compare Turner's numbers as stated above to Brandon Roy's, Its starting to look like Evan Turner is the real deal.
Evan Turner is playing well this season, but I can't see him living up to some of the Penny Hardaway or Brandon Roy comparisons he was getting at Ohio State. Those players were elite players.
I'm sticking to what I've said since before he was drafted... He's going to be a very good starter (maybe make an all-star game or two), but he's not going to be a star player.
Loved him in college, thought he would play in 2 or 3 all-star games. Glad i got him on my fantasy team this season.
Cousins is clearly an idiot so no way I take him, despite being the most talented player from the draft class. I would only take Monroe ahead of him.
I have to say he has turned into one of my favorite players in the NBA, I just enjoy watching players with his kind of all around game.
Evan has had a breakout season so far and may have reached this sort of level quicker if he had not been brought along quietly by his team but they were looking at the long term picture and let him settle into the NBA. The key thing for him now is to retain and build on this level of form across the next few seasons. Evan is 24 now and is looking a fairly complete NBA player, I don't know if he'll ever reach a fit B-Roy, Penny level but he should be an excellent complimentary starter, great role player, nice stats filler who could push for All Star recognition. I would not see him being a season in season out All Star but maybe getting a few appearances across his career.
He was one of my MIP candidates so great to see him doing so well, always rated the guy.
If you compare his stats from this year to last, the only differences are that he's hitting 3's at a better clip, albeit on low volume (making less than 1 a game), and is making his FTs at a better clip. His percentages in terms of shot locations are actually down across the board, except for his low volume 3's.
Otherwise there is no significant increase in any of his rates. He's just playing 10 more minutes a game.
He is getting a lot more touches with no L.williams, iggy, and meeks there. I expect his numbers to get even better.