The Sixers blame rust, inactivity, even jitters to the poor play of Evan Turner. They say he’s still adjusting to life in the NBA.
“He’s not in game shape,” Sixers GM Ed Stefanski said. “He hasn't played a five-on-five game since March. He’s learning the pace of the NBA game.”
Turner, a 6-foot-7 swingman considered to be the franchise’s savior, was highly critical of himself following a five-game exhibition schedule in the Orlando Summer League. He averaged just 9.4 points per game, while shooting 33 percent from the field.
“I’m playing pretty horrible,” Turner said recently. “I expect myself to be at a certain level, and I think I played badly. I am not proud of the way I played, but I’m glad I have this experience to learn new things and go back to make my wrongs right.”
In Turner’s defense, he’s still adjusting to his new role as two-guard. At Ohio State, he served as the primary ball handler and averaged 6.0 assists as a senior. On the Sixers, that job belongs to second-year point guard Jrue Holiday.
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“There’s a lot of difference when you don’t have the ball in your hands making plays,” Turner said.
Holiday also struggled in his rookie summer league. Turner said the two have become fast friends.
Said Turner: “[Holiday] just told me to overcome, that he went through the same thing last year and just take my time.”