The last time Evan Turner sat on the bench for an entire game it was, technically speaking, last year.
Turner watched all 48 minutes of the team's Dec. 22, 2010, loss at the Boston Celtics. Until Wednesday night's win over the Houston Rockets, that was the last time Sixers coach Doug Collins gave Turner a DNP-CD (did not play-coach's decision).
Between the game against the Celtics and the one against the Rockets, Turner played 10-plus minutes in 40 consecutive games. That streak ended on March 4 against the Atlanta Hawks, a game in which Turner played only four minutes. In the four games since then, Turner has played 10-plus minutes only once and also received that DNP-CD.
In short, Turner is no longer in the rotation. And it's very likely he won't be a huge part of the team's playoff rotation, either.
What happened? Two things.
First, Turner still needs the ball in his hands to be a productive offensive player. Considering that Collins has three players ahead of Turner who also excel with the ball - Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, and Lou Williams - it's not difficult to understand why Turner's minutes have diminished.
"It has nothing to do with how much talent he has; it's sort of how I'm putting our pieces together right now," Collins explained. "When Lou is going well, that second unit, I'm going to put the ball in his hands."
Added Collins: "Evan's not gotten that comfortable yet moving and playing off of the ball."
Second, teammate Andres Nocioni, who's always competed with Turner for playing time, has playoff experience and can also stretch opposing defenses beyond the arc.
"Benches sometimes do get shorter in the playoffs," Collins said. "I haven't really made that a plan, but I just sort of play it out as I see it that particular night."
Turner spending more time on bench
Philly.com | Apr 1