The final stop on our whirlwind Early Predictions
tour is Evan Turner. If winning in the short term, or quickly turning this franchise around in a meaningful way is your goal, Turner is the key.
I don't make that statement lightly. Evan Turner's ability to be an efficient, reliable scorer in the half court is the key for this team. If he can get his own shot off against a set team, focused on stopping him, the Sixers will be able to fit the pieces in the front court to compliment what I believe will grow into the best back court trio in the league. If he can't, well, let's not talk about that. Here are my predictions for Evan's production:
- Minutes: 2,179
- Points/game: 15.5
- Rebs/game: 5.2
- Ast/game: 4.3
- Steals/game: 1.5
- Blocks/game: 0.5
- TOV/game: 3.1
- FG%: 44%
- 3P%: 31%
I've got Turner at a bit more than 30 minutes/game, missing a handful throughout his rookie season. Before you break out your abacus and add up all the minutes I've doled out in this series, let me save you the time. The numbers don't add up. I've got an extra 1,000 minutes or so in the back court, and I really don't know where to take it from. If all goes well, you can shave them off the back end of the rotation. If Jrue, Turner and Iguodala can combine for North of 8,000 minutes between them, I'll be ecstatic. If an injury hits among the big three, well, let's not think about that either.
As for Turner's production, I'm expecting good things. I think the percentages will be low at the beginning of the season as he's trying to figure things out at this level, but as the season wears on, he'll find weaknesses. Throughout, I don't think he'll force too many shots and he'll keep his efficiency up by getting to the line. Even when his shot isn't falling, I expect to see him contributing in other areas. It wouldn't shock me at all to see Iguodala and Turner combine to average 10 assists and 10 rebounds per game. They're going to have to really chip in on the glass for the team to have a prayer of controlling the defensive rebounding battle. I expect it to take until about the trade deadline for the scoring load to really shift from Iguodala to Turner, with Jrue in there as a dark horse for making a huge leap this season. By the end of the year (when I expect the team to be playing out the string), Turner will probably hit the rookie wall, but it won't be a conditioning thing, it'll be teams game planning to slow him down. He'll get the opposition's best perimeter defender, he'll see occasional double teams. That's going to be the true test, to see if he can handle that kind of attention.
I'm afraid the turnovers will be high, especially early on, but that's something he'll hopefully grow out of.
So there you have it, folks, the Early Predictions series has run it's course. Your thoughts in the comments.