Immediately following the Philadelphia 76ers final NBA Summer League game in Orlando, FL I received phone calls, text messages and a few emails saying how mediocre Evan Turner looked. Almost everyone talked about how Turner appeared to be slow and how they thought he would be able to shoot better.
But we shouldn‚Äôt be too worried about Turner. Don‚Äôt get me wrong it would‚Äôve been great if Turner was the star of the league so that Sixers fans could chill out.¬† But that‚Äôs not the case. Turner averaged 9.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game down in Orlando.
However in my eyes it wasn‚Äôt all bad for Turner in Orlando. He showed great court vision at times and was able to penetrate and create opportunities for his teammates. He showed that even when he is struggling from the field he is still able to contribute. His lack of a jump shot did raise an eyebrow or two, but I blamed it on his nerves.
Regardless by the time the regular season starts, Turner should be more comfortable out there on the floor. With wing players like Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young running the floor and filling the lanes, Turner will have a lot of assist opportunities. That alone should allow him to calm down fast.
Hopefully Marreese Speights will be able to knock down a few 15-foot jumpers, which will also make it easier for Turner in the long run. Speights put up some impressive numbers (12.7 points and 9 rebounds) and appears to be getting close to his form before his knee inury. The Sixers need for Speights to be an important part of the teams success in the 2010-11 season.
Although all eyes were supposed to be on Turner, they quickly began to focus on Jrue Holiday. Holliday by far was a star in Orlando averaging 19.3 points (led the league), 6 assist and 1.7 steals per game. He also was named to the 2010 AirTran Airways All-Summer League First Team.
He looked bigger and more confident on the floor. Yeah I know the talent in Orlando was nowhere close to the level in the NBA, but he chose to kill them instead of playing down to their level. If Holiday can play half as good as he did in Orlando he will make this Sixers team fun to watch.
Holiday was not the only Sixer to receive some recognition for his play in Orlando. Jodie Meeks was named to the Summer League Second team. Meeks was second on the team in scoring (14.6) and showcased his ability to drill the three-point shot. In a game against the Charlotte Bobcats he knocked down four three-pointers. With guys like Meeks and Jason Kapono the Sixers now become a team with a couple deep weapons, something they lacked last season.
Sixer fans wanted to see a star emerge on the team in Orlando and that‚Äôs exactly what happened. However not many expected that player to be Holiday. Nevertheless there is no need to push the panic button on Turner. Give the kid some time to adapt and get his feet wet before you make a fair assessment. Enjoy the bright spots on the team and get ready for some exciting basketball in Philadelphia for the next couple of years.