The PPG crowd is probably over the moon with how Jrue has started the season. Even most advanced stats show a strong improvement for Jrue through the first seven games of the season. The eye test would even lead you to believe he's made a huge step, if not a leap...but those turnovers. Man oh man, those turnovers.
19 points, 9 assists, 3.4 boards, 1.6 steals and a whopping 6 turnovers per game. It's an unbelievable stat line, really. If you could find a site which listed every statistical category but turnovers, Jrue would be nearing an elite level. His 19.1 points-per-game isn't a hollow stat. He's taking (and making) more threes. He's getting to the line almost twice as much as he did in the past, he's attack the hoop and converting at a much higher rate when he gets shots in the paint. His true shooting percentage is up 7.3% to .569, which would have ranked him in the top 20 in the league last season (among regulars). The kid's statistical production has been through the roof in every area. Unfortunately, his turnovers are through the roof as well.
I'm really not sure what to make of Jrue, and I don't think I'm alone. As a team, the Sixers are a hair below average in turnover rate. They're forcing more turnovers than they're committing. They have two big problems on the offensive end, shooting efficiency and a lack of trips to the line. Jrue is really carrying the load for the team in both of those categories.
The numbers tell the same story my eyes do. Jrue has clearly been the best player on the Sixers. The team is clearly much, much better on both ends of the floor when he's out there. He's playing much better than he has at any other point in his career. All of that is true, and it's also true that he's throwing the ball away at a truly unbelievable rate. The question I keep asking myself is can a team be competitive when their PG is coughing the ball up at this rate? I'd say they haven't lost a game because of the turnovers yet this season (defense cost them the game vs. MIL).
A bump in TOs was to be expected when Iguodala and Lou Williams left. Those guys were both excellent at taking care of the ball. It was also pretty easy to predict that Jrue's turnovers would increase because he's going to be playing less of the "stand in the corner and wait" role in the offense now that AI9 and Lou are gone. But this isn't a bump.
I honestly don't know what to make of this trend. I'm hoping it's a blip, but the longer it continues the more you have to kind of ask yourself if maybe Collins wasn't crazy to take the ball out of Jrue's hands so much over the past two seasons. Then again, when you see the production when he's not turning it over...I just don't know.
The only thing I'm sure of at this point is that this team needs Jrue at the point. Turner continues to be one of the worst offensive players in the league (who is also turning the ball over too much) and Royal Ivey is not a point guard. The Sixers are either going to have to go out and trade for a legit backup point guard who can share the load with Jrue, or they're going to have to live with his turnovers, because warts and all, the offense is much better with him out there, hopefully learning on the job.