So while reading the Truehoop First Cup today I came across the curious bullet point about some guy in Philadelphia, who on some talk show tried to offer some half-hearted half-assed explanation for what's wrong with Evan Turner. And as I read the quoted part of the article, I just grew more confused:
Bob Ford of The Philadelphia Inquirer: What's wrong with Evan Turner? At least until this game against the Celtics, there has been something wrong with Turner, according to longtime Daily News writer Stan Hochman. On WIP-FM (94.1) Wednesday morning, Hochman said he had information that Turner has a problem, something that would make his relative lack of playing time and relative lack of effectiveness understandable when it finally comes out. On-court, off-court? Physical, mental, family-related? Animal, vegetable, mineral? Hochman, who has been among the most dependable journalists in this city, wouldn't say. Before the game, Turner said he couldn't imagine what Hochman was referring to, and coach Doug Collins refuted the rumor so vehemently that it left little room for later backtracking. Hochman issued an apology last night for saying what he did publicly, but his statement also didn't contain anything that could be construed as a retraction. "I have felt for some time that Turner was taking an unfair beating in the media and I hinted that there was an undisclosed explanation for his inconsistent performances," Hochman wrote in the statement sent to the Daily News. "That was unfair to Turner and to the Sixers organization and I want to apologize to all concerned," the statement continued. "Sixty-six games crammed into 123 days takes its toll on everyone. I will not reveal my source, nor the nature of what I was told, but it was wrong to say what I said."
If you click through to the Ford article, it's kind of unclear to me if Ford agrees with Hochman or not. Whatever, here's the bit that confuses me:
What the hell are we talking about!? Last time I checked, Turner was pretty good. And, sure, I've only seen about 5 Sixers games but he seemed pretty solid in those. So why are people (presumably) getting paid to sit around dreaming up reasons that Turner might not be so effective?
|Career per-48 Stats|
|Career Shooting Efficiency|
Remember, .099 WP/48 is the bar for an average NBA player (position-adjusted). So, last year, Turner was a very average shooting guard, and this year, he's been an above-average shooting guard. And we can see from the numbers that this is largley because he's an exceptional rebounder for his position, even if he's a modest scorer.
But here's the other thing: It's Turner's 2nd year as a pro. Rookies do not, as a general rule, come out of college and leap right into being average-level shooting guards. In fact, the average WP48 for a rookie would be 0.050. So, last year, Turner was about twice as good as the average rookie. And this year, he's even better! His fouls are down, his assists are up, his rebounds are up. His shooting still needs improvement, but overall he's definitely playing better so far in 2012.
So, why the hell are we looking for any wink-wink-nudge-nudge-know-what-I-mean-wink-wink reasons for his performance?
I do, however, have an explanation for Turner's "his relative lack of playing time". And that explanation is Jodie Meeks:
Given how Meeks has been this season, one shouldn't really wonder why Turner isn't leading the team in minutes. Meeks can't rebound like Turner does, but he sure can shoot, and he almost never turns the ball over, and doesn't foul much. Hard to complain about that in a shooting guard, right? Hey, guys, any chance you want to trade Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson for Meeks and some contract you're trying to dump?