On a team with no superstar presence, an emergence in scoring by second year SG Evan Turner will make the Philadelphia 76ers an ever more dangerous team. Averaging 8.2 PPG in 23.8 minutes off of the bench, Turner’s shooting has been inconsistent as of late. In the Sixers 20 victories, Turner’s shooting percentage is 48.9 percent but only 36.9 in 14 losses. What has been consistent is his ability to rebound as he is averaging 5.6 RPG. One of Turner’s strengths as an Ohio State Buckeye was his ability to push the ball aggressively in transition. If he can get back to being an aggressive player on offensive, that would stretch the floor for other players such as sixth man of the year candidate Lou Williams who leads the team in scoring off the bench averaging 15.7 PPG and Spencer Hawes who is having a breakout season when he is healthy. The Sixers are 12-2 in the games that Hawes has played in. With surprising productivity from rookies PF Lavoy Allen and C Nikola Vucevic averaging 17.5 and 17 MPG respectively, Turner’s numbers have been on the decline. In his last 10 games, he is averaging 19.7 MPG, 4.7 PPG and 5 RPG. The unquestioned leader of the team Andrea Iguodala, who was elected to his first All-Star appearance this season, could benefit from more help. Starting PG Jrue Holiday is averaging 4.5 APG. If he wants to become a better floor general, he needs more options as Turner would be great with his ability to drive and connect on the mid-range jumper.
The Sixers are 12-2 in games in which he has played this season. Without Hawes, they are 8-12. Just 23 years old, the 7-foot Hawes was averaging 10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game before the injury. In 14 games this season, he recorded six double-doubles, one shy of his total in 81 games last season
As All-Star weekend ends, and the trade deadline nearing, the Sixers’ only concern should be to get players healthy and to continue to build the chemistry with the youngsters they have. A trade could possibly interfere with the chemistry and disrupt the success. With a short pre-season and a seemingly longer season because of the lockout, guys will get tired but you just have to wait and see if guys like Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young will catch fire late.