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A Lack of Faith

One rule for today: I'm not going to talk about what changes the Sixers need to make. Not with that game fresh in my mind. It's pointless. If you're basing it off that game, they need everything. It's as pointless as saying the Sixers have their center of the future after the Lakers game.

Rob_STC reply to Brian on Dec 22 at 11:04


Well said. I have to see the rest of this trip and really trust in that Doug said it was an aberration. I remember a game about 2 years ago when Denver went to NJ and lost by 40 points and went to the COnference finals that year. I don't know how to do it because I would have a hard time with it but the players truly have to get it out of their mind as quickly as possible. Another point last night Milwaukee beat the Lakers by 19 points coing into LA off a back to back losing by 23 points to Portland the night before. So let's see how the Sixers respond.

No rational mind would change their opinion of the team after one game. Are the lakers in danger because they lost a home game to the bucks last night and the bucks were missing jennings and maggette?

I think people were a little 'too high' off of the past couple weeks and maybe this is a cold bucket of reality water. They're just not a good team and not good teams can have bad games...the sixers had a terrible game last night, but they ain't better (or worse) to me than they were before the game, or they were 2 weeks ago.

I still think Iguodala should go though the rumors out there make me sad that it won't be very good, and I'm hoping Elton Brand has played his way back to having trade value

Tray reply to GoSixers on Dec 22 at 13:14

Well... the Lakers have had a lot of dubious losses this season. Games like last night's confirm the impression that they're beatable.

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Dec 22 at 13:23

In the past 4 years the Sixers have put up winning runs of 18-5, 22-11 and most recently 8-3. But those runs have been aberrations. the team is still mediocre- and that is probably being generous with the term.

They have no top level star. This means they have a very limited ceiling. Best case they can become a surprise 6th seed like the Bucks or Bobcats were. They have some young guys who might develop into solid players. They have some vets (Iguodala and maybe Brand) who are solid contributors. But even best case, a crew of well coached good contributors are still fodder for star laden top 10 teams.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 13:27

If a "good" team like the Lakers puts up a stinker you put in in context. When a "bad" team like the Sixers put a stinker... And I will not change my overall view over the Sixers based on a good 11 game run.

I guess 35 wins for this year. And thought that would be overachieving based on the teams youth, talent level and ill fitting pieces./ Also based on the assumption that Iguodala is NOT traded. If he is gone they win (a lot) less.

I think I'm still at about that 35 number. They still have the same fundamental strengths and weakness as we though heading in. Even if Collins can coach them up to mask some of those weaknesses.

I'm sort of bummed that there can't be discussions about Turner without knee-jerk antagonistic feelings on both sides. It sort of reminds me of how people flamed on the Jrue/Ty topic last year.

To me its not a matter of being right or wrong- since no one will be able to grade the 2010 draft for a few years. Also, you can root for Turner, think he will be a much better player down the road... and still discuss his terrible play, role on the team, and how he compares with his peers (which I tried to define yesterday as players his own age.)

Part of me personally being on board with drafting Turner was based on this simple rational:

Turner was generally viewed (by "professionals") as a top level draft prospect worthy of a very high pick. He also was already 22, and there are a bunch of players his age in the league already making a big impact. So I (naively) figured he eventually will perform in the range of other top players his age who were also drafted high. Because most of the 22 year olds in the NBA drafted in the top 10 are very promising players and several of the guys drafted top 5 are already stars. And the Sixers need a star.

Because most of the 22 year olds in the NBA drafted in the top 10 are very promising players and several of the guys drafted top 5 are already stars

How many of these 22 year olds you're raving about are in their first year?

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Dec 22 at 11:31

I'm still hoping/expecting Turner to end up in the discussion of the best players his age. No doubt he'll develop into a much more effective player than he is right now (he's a much worse performing player currently than Landy Fields.)

But he is doing much worse than 22 year old "non-project bigs" historically do when they are drafted high. There have not been a ton of guys who are 22 year old rookies drafted in the top 7. I'll try and make a list... but my guess is that most do pretty well from the get go.

It's wrong to compare 22 year olds who have more than one season under their belt to an NBA rookie who is KNOWN to take at least a year to develop at his level.

You're talking about all these great 22 year olds.

Show me the great 22 year olds in the 2010 draft playing great.

Show me the members of the 2010 draft paying great overall

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Dec 22 at 11:59

I'm trying to make a fair gauge of what to expect from Turner. Not to grade him right now. And as I show below, guys drafted at age 22 generally are reasonably productive as rookies. The ONLY ones in the last 15 years that are not prodcutive (Morrison, Alexander, T. Williams) have been busts.

Right now Turner has compiled a WS of 0.2 after 33% of the season. I'm expecting dramatically improved production over the final 2/3rds of the year. Because if he does not then history suggests he will not be a very good NBA player.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 12:00

By "only" I mean top 10 picks who were age 22 their rookie year and not project centers.

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Dec 22 at 11:54

OK, here is a quick (not perfect) list of guys drafted in the top 20 at Turner's age. I filtered out guys over 6'8, sine I wanted to avoid project bigs. I'll put a + or - based on their rookie performance. And I agree it is too early to grade Turners rookie year. But IMO you should be able to see production from a 22 year old rookie by at least the All Star break.


"++" players as rookies (win scores over 4 their rookie season)
Kittles (good rookie, weak overall player)
Caron Butler
Chalmers (good rookie, weak overall player)
Knight (good rookie, weak overall player)
Duhon (good rookie, weak overall player)
MBah a Moute (2nd rounder)
Thornton (2nd rounder)

Now looking at 22 year old top 10 picks with WS

WS 2.5-3.9:
(Collison, Jameer and Ty, neither top 10 but notable)
Antawn Jamison
Jason Terry
Reddick (11th pick)

"-" Top 10 picks with WS under 2
Joe Alexander (8th), WS 0.4
Terrence Williams (11th pick) WS -0.3
Morrison (3rd) -1.5

Joe reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 12:03

You mean Win Shares.

Win Score has Evan Turner as a very solid rookie actually. It has him as very close to an average NBA SG and as the 6th best rookie who has seen >200 minutes.

Win shares says something different.

Joe reply to Joe on Dec 22 at 12:06

And my opinion is that Turner has produced at a decent level for a rookie. He is no Andre Iguodala, who was a fantastic player from day 1.

I don't think the sample size is large enough to say anything about Turner, though. I realize people want to start drawing conclusions, but you can't. It is too early. Maybe in a year or 2. Just sit back and wait for now.

tk76 reply to Joe on Dec 22 at 12:07

Yes. on basketball reference Win Shares is abbreviated WS.

Joe reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 12:14

"++" players as rookies (win scores over 4 their rookie season)

You quote "win scores". "Win score" says much different things than what you are saying. I was just mentioning to readers that you meant win shares and not win score.

The 2 measures are confused often by people.

tk76 reply to Joe on Dec 22 at 12:19

I am sorry. I meant win shares.

dwhite reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 12:03

That's a depressing list, but I don't think we run the risk of Turner being as bad as any of those 0-2 WS players. I mean that's just the dregs of the league and Turner's skills are too numerous to fall off like those guys (though I guess the jury is still out on T Will somewhat).

The less said about last night's game, the better as far as I'm concerned. Way too early in this rough trip for the Sixers to hang their heads. Iguodala's comments after the game might be more true than I'd like to admit though...

dwhite reply to dwhite on Dec 22 at 12:12

Side note: the only Sixers with lower usage rates than Turner? Battie, Songaila and Kapono.

Turner could be an asshole and jack up more shots to pad his PPG (like Morrison), it's encouraging that he already is having a positive impact in other ways on the court (20 percent D Reb Rate) without forcing his will on the offensive end.

I do think we have just one or two too many players who need to 'get theirs' on offense. It's hard to pick out which ones are the most expendable (Lou and Speights come to mind), but a restructuring of this team with some hardnosed defense/rebounding first guys would go a long way and probably simplify our offense.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 12:06

So to summarize:

In the last 15 years there have been a lot of productive 22 year old rookies, but generally none played at a "star level" their rookie year. But, of guys drafted top 11 at age 22, only 3 failed to get a WS of 2.5- Morrison, Williams and Alexander. All 3 had a WS of under 0.5 for the year.

Generally, top 11 picks (age 22) have rookie WS of over 4. A few had 2.5-3.9. Only 3 were terrible.

Right now Turner has player 33% of his rookie season. He has compiled a WS of 0.2 and played a good amount of minutes. He will need to dramatically improve the last 2/3rds of his rookie year to get to the "normal" level of a 22 year old highly rated rookie.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 12:12

Again, I'm more trying to create "realistic expectations" for Turner based on his age and draft status.

I agree it is too early to "grade" him,. beyond saying his first 1/3rd of his rookie year has been abysmal. But that is not the point here.

I am trying to establish:

1. How do guys his age drafted highly generally perform as rookies (as compared to their ultimate careers.)

2. How are guys his age performing in the NBA today. Not to say Turner should be at that level today. Burt he should be expected to be amongst the top players his age within 1=-2 years given his draft status.

Realistic expectations huh?

So no more comments about how he should be almost as good as derrick rose then?

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Dec 22 at 12:25

I don't think a #2 overall pick should be as good as a #1 overall pick. Historically #1 overall picks have about a 35% chance of being superstar. That drops to only 12% with a #2 overall pick.

But it is fair to say a top 5 pick comes with some level of expectation. And a top 10 pick who is older and not a "project" generally has a very high ceiling.

Again, I'm sorry if this seems "anti-Turner" or is seen as me calling him a "bust." I am only trying to guage him as a prospect by establishing peer groups for his rookie year and his ultimate expectations. I am not anti-Turner. I'm not saying they made the "wrong" pick.

But the more I look at the numbers, the more I feel he needs to get his game in gear- because he is not a 19 year old rookie.

I remember DWade as a rookie. he was really up and down the first 1/2 of the season. Then he figured it out and was dominant the last half. I'm not expecting Turner to be as good as Wade 9a top 10 NBA guy.) But I am expecting him to be able to figure it out soon and be a much better player than he is right now- and soon.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 12:25

Sorry, meant "high floor", not high ceiling.

They were both top 2 overall selections in the NBA draft. They are the same age. Why such a big gap? Shouldn't a #2 overall pick be in the same league as Rose? Generally speaking #1's are a notch above, but all top 5 picks should be elite prospects.

Who said that?

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Dec 22 at 12:36

I don't think my statements are contradictory. These are all fair statements:

-#1 (overall) picks are a cut above #2 picks.

-Top 5 picks are generally guys with star potential. A guy drafted #1 or #2 is generally a guy you hope can be a superstar (even if the odds are against you.) Worst case, you expect guys drafted that high to be amongst the best players in their age groups.

-"Older" rookies drafted in the top 10 are generally seen as guys with very high floors.

Example: Clyde Drexler and MJ were both superstars. Both proabably to 50 all timers. MJ was a cut above Drexler.

Did I contradict myself in those 2 statements?

Shouldn't an overall #2 pick be in the same league as rose?

The guy picked #2 after Derrick Rose isn't even in the same league as Derrick Rose (imo), and again, apples and oranges

Years in the league
Roster when he was drafted - the bulls made it Rose's team - they built around rose - not vice versa
The sixers didn't make it turners team and asked him to totally change the game he had been playing the last couple years

You keep saying you don't want to write off turner or provide unrealistic expectations, but everything you say seems to ignore the situation, the history of evan turner and inherently indicate your expectations are unrealistic

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Dec 22 at 13:02

I'm trying my best to find suitible peer groups for Turner in order to create "reasonable expectations" for Turners rookie year and what to expect in 20-3 years.

I'm still hashing all this out, and will try and write a more polished article in the next few days. Sorry if I am seemingly contradicting myself right now. I think it's because I'm discussing several parallel tracts at the same time.

Regarding Rose and Turner:

They are peers because the are the same age. in fact they were HS rivals in Chicago. But in terms of stature, they are not exactly peers. Rose has always (back to HS) been seen as a higher level prospect. And a #1 pick is general a cut above a #2 pick.

But its not an infinite gap. By virtue of being seen worthy of a #2 overall pick (or even top 5) Turner is being judged as reasonably likely to become one of the top 5 players his age in the NBA. While a #1 overall pick is a guy who is reasonably likely to become one of the top 10 players in the NBA of any age.

So I list Rose as one of the 20 or so players within Turner's age. And on that list we should hope/expect that Turner ends up towards the top given his draft status. The same can be said for the other top 3 picks age 22: Rose, Durant, Beasley, Griffin, Harden.

Not saying how these guys rank today. But how they will eventually turn out as pros. And we have a much better sense about most of them as compared to Turner because they have been in the league longer. But that's why they make a nice peer group. It helps give us reasonable expectation for what Turner should become. He should become one of the top 5 players on that age 22 list.

I think the analysis (and expectation) of Turner this year is out of hand.

This is a team that aspires to be in the playoffs, that had 'core' players that the team was built around, requiring turner to change his approach to the game he has had the past two seasons. This is a team with a coach who is going to be worried first and foremost about winnings and a team that is somehow still DELUDED into thinking Louis Williams should play even when he can't score. This is a player who takes a year to adjust at a new level, and yet people are over analyzing his first 30 games.

The sixers have huge problems and choices to make before worrying about turner comes into play in my opinion.

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Dec 22 at 13:21

I agree that its way to early to judge Turner- beyond saying the first 1/3 of his rookie season has been disappointing by almost any measure.

I don't think its ever wrong or premature to try and project a player. that is what conversation is about. Not just analyzing what has happened, but what can, will or should happen going forward.

I am not talking about what Turner has or has not done. More trying to project what reasonable expectations are for a him as a rookie and as a pro. He could have a weak rookie year and still overachieve as a pro (although historically that would be unlikely based on his age/draft position.)

I was trying to preach reasonable expectations when the Sixers were awarded the #2 pick- because historically #2 overall picks are rarely superstars. Which is a shame considering a superstar is what the team so desperately needs.

But on the same token you can try and develop what reasonable expectations are for a player. Expectations based on similar circumstance- not based of stats their forst 27 games. Expectations for a 19 year old guard taken #17, a 20 year old PF taken #16, or a 22 year old wing player taken #2. Not sure what is the problem with trying to do this?

Another example of an "aberration game" besides the Lakers' loss to the Bucks last night was the loss suffered by the very same Bulls vs. the Clippers last Saturday night. I've seen a few Bulls games this year, and they aren't nearly as good as they showed last night. That said, the Sixers have no chance against the Bulls if Jrue doesn't at least contend with Rose, who got wherever he wanted last night.

I do think Iguodala is right in that the team hasn't played as well over the tail end of the 8/11 stretch, catching NO and Orlando at the right time and eeking out a win vs. the Nets. Even the Clippers win was basically a one-half-of-good-play win. The best games of the streak occurred at the beginning (including the two losses to the Hawks and Celtics).

I'll be at the game tonight, will report on what I see ...

Man oh man was that team just awful...swept by the Astros, did that really just happen?? Howard looks old, Utley is hurt, JRoll isn't the same guy, why do we even have Polanco or Ibanez, none of our starting pitchers are any good...let's just blow it up and start over!

/and that team ended up with the best record in the league....seriously guys, it's just one game...

Shawn reply to das411 on Dec 22 at 12:20

But to Brian's point, it's the Sixers. They haven't built up the type of goodwill and WS experience the Phillies have. It's a completely different situation.

But I agree, we should take a step back from this game. At the same time though, the reservations we've had about this team were blown up with an ABOMB by Derrick Rose and Co, it makes you reevaluate things.

The reason I'm talking Turner and not the team or last game is that there is no way I can objectively discuss the team after they embarrassed themselves last night. Overall they still are what they are. A team of middling talent and lots of youth. A team that can either under or over-achieve, but who still needs a top level star to ever become anything. And who needs a lot of their young players to turn into "best case scenarios" to be a contender- even if they had a top 10 player on the roster.

What tk76 is saying is right. It's pretty rare that a rookie is as bad as Turner's been so far and ends up being a very good NBA player. Especially one with as much college seasoning as Turner's had. If you think otherwise, think of some examples! I'm glad that he can rebound, defend... and maybe pass, but there's no sign he can score on the NBA level, high usage, low usage, or whatever. It has nothing to do with expectations. Maybe we're too much of a contender to give the National Player of the Year minutes over Jodie Meeks, who may or may not even belong in the NBA, frankly, or Nocioni, a 10th man on a good team, but if so, he ought to be capable of playing well during the minutes he gets. With very little usage, he's in the bottom ninth of the NBA in eFG%. Imagine if he were actually getting shots. He might have more 2-11 nights like last night.

tk76 reply to Tray on Dec 22 at 13:44

There are examples of 22 year olds being unimpressive as rookies and yet going on to be stars. Steve Nash and Danny Granger. But both of those guys were picked outside the lottery.

And here's an ugly number 9that is completely unfair to bring up :)

There have been 290 players drafted age 22 in the past 20 years... sorted by WS/48 Evan Turner ranks #220.

So no where to go but up :)

tk76 reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 13:48

Some notables on that 290 player list of guys drafted age 22 sorted by WS/48: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=PjvKa

Ty Lawson #21
Landry Fields #51
Thabeet #52

So WS/48 is a bit misleading. But 220 of 290 is bad.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 13:53

BTW, that looks at a 22 year old rookies who played in 20+ games. Not just drafted players.

So on average there have been about 15 players a season who are 22 year old rookies. And on average ET's WS/48 would be 11th of those 15.

Tray reply to tk76 on Dec 22 at 13:55

But Granger and Nash weren't nearly this hapless in their rookie years, just not very productive.

Joe reply to Tray on Dec 22 at 14:56

My response to this small sample discussion is the following...

1) too small of a sample. An entire rookie season is not large enough to draw a ton of conclusions. See Durant, Kevin. (there are tons of others)

2) I have issue with your model. Wins produced is superior to win shares. In addition, WP views Turner highly. (permanent-sketch.com/winsproduced select rookies only)

So my conclusion here is that the sample is too small to say much of anything. In addition, Turner has been productive according to the best metric I know. So...

You kind of knew WP would love Turner. It's so heavily weighted by rebounding.

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