The Sixers and Thunder will tip it off at 3PM this afternoon. This will probably be the summer squad's first legit test. OKC has sent a decent squad to Orlando with several guys who saw time for a playoff team last season. A quick preview after the jump.
My preview is really only a couple thoughts on Evan Turner. He's been fine in these first two games. He's contributed in all areas, hasn't done anything bad on the floor, but I have to say that I was expecting more. People keep pointing out that Jrue wasn't great in Orlando last season, but Jrue was an 18-year-old kid coming off a tough college experience playing for a mixed team with no coach. Turner is the reigning college player of the year, he's older than most of the guys he's playing against and honestly, he should be standing out, not melting in for this Sixers' squad.
I find the excuses for his play a bit troubling as well. Yes, I realize he probably isn't a legit three in the NBA, but positional versatility is one of his strengths. If he can't get by a couple of "athletic" wings who probably won't be in a team's top-ten when the real season starts, what does that say about his projection as a number one scoring option? If he "can" play the three, but he isn't effective there, then the positional versatility is pretty much meaningless. If he can only dominate with a size advantage, he's going to quickly find teams willing to switch their coverage from Iguodala to Turner.
I'm not pressing the panic button, but I do believe we should be a bit more concerned than most are at this point. This kid is supposed to be polished, he's supposed to come into a camp populated by borderline NBA talent and dominate. Honestly, he's looked more lost than found so far. We aren't talking about a guy whose amazing physical skills are going to carry him through a tough learning process, we're talking about a guy who's supposed to be ahead of the pack in the mental aspects of the game, and that advantage is what's going to allow him to be good or great, or whatever he's going to be. I'd sure like to see some of that today against the Thunder.
I'll be watching the game on replay tonight, if you're watching live, use this as your game thread. I'll be checking in throughout.