Long after his teammates had departed from Thursday’s early morning practice session at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Evan Turner took advantage of the empty gym to work on his shot. Shot after shot splashed through the net for Turner, who ended the workout with a series of free throws. It made sense because Turner has spent much more time taking shots than in his previous three seasons. That includes the foul line, where Turner is taking nearly six free throws per game. Scoring 22.2 points per game on nearly 16 shots per game, Turner has finally emerged as the Sixers’ best scoring threat. Drafted No. 2 overall in 2010, Turner was viewed as a can’t-miss talent. However, it took some time for the Chicago native to carve out his niche in the team’s offense. Headed into an offseason that could include free agency, the big stats won’t hurt Turner’s cause. “He has a lot of areas that he really can blossom,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. “He is a talent.” Dig deeper into the numbers and some of the same issues stand out with Turner. Though he’s shooting 55.1 percent from the field, Turner has found his scoring touch by knifing through the defense to the hoop. He has taken 35 shots from in the restricted area and 41 shots from closer than 10-feet. Because Turner is usually on the move when he gets those shots close to the basket, he’s drawn plenty of contact. Finally, Turner says, he’s getting some foul calls. “It’s great because I’m finally starting to get foul calls,” Turner said after Thursday’s practice. “That helps out a lot of things and it’s advantageous to our team. It puts pressure on the defense.” Interestingly, Turner is scoring despite not shooting well from the perimeter. Playing at the small forward and big guard spots on the floor, Turner often receives the ball on or near the three-point line when in the half-court set. In the past he would have squared up and let it fly from the outside. But now Turner understands the benefit of driving to the hoop.
Evan Turner is learning to play to his strengths
CSN Philly | Nov 8