Evan Turner was a slow starter in college. It took him until his junior season with Ohio State to get acclimated but once he figured it out he became the National Player of the Year. His NBA path seems to be following the same blueprint for success. After being the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Turner’s career got off to a slow start. His first two seasons he was just trying to find his way and fit in. He averaged 7.2 points per game in year one and a pedestrian 9.4 per game in year two. This season is year three for Turner and his breakout campaign is off to a great start. Thanks to the Andre Iguodala trade and Lou Williams’ decision to go to Atlanta, Turner is getting more minutes, he has a more defined role and he is averaging a career high in minutes per game, points per game, assists, rebounds and three point percentage. He looks like a different player. The one Philly felt they were getting when they used the second overall pick on him in 2010.
Evan Turner joined WIP in Philly with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow to talk about how his game is evolving, his increased shooting percentage from three point range, on the communication between him and Doug Collins, what it was like to hit his first ever game winning shot, how much more comfortable he is now than he was before.
On how his game is evolving:
“I think I’m maturing, I think I’m maturing a lot and also getting a lot of opportunities and more minutes. The first two years I was playing behind an All-Star and sometimes I wasn’t needed as much as others were and also I had up and down moments as I was growing. Now the opportunities to play through bad situations and play through rough nights and just keep getting better and growing and I think that’s where players really evolve is during the good and the bad times and being able to work things out.”
On his increased shooting percentage from three point range:
“I just worry about my rhythm. I just make sure I have a good rhythm. Before I stayed in the gym and had to make 50 threes before I left the gym and it would just start becoming like a hassle and worrying too much about the three point shot. Every time I spotted up for a three I was thinking don’t miss it, don’t miss it. Now I don’t even worry about it, I just shoot the shot when I can, hold my follow-through and it goes in.”
Whether he feels like the communication between him and Doug Collins is improving:
“We’re getting better. He’s calmed down a lot and so have I. The most important thing is how to communicate with one another and there are certain times and certain situations where I might react to a situation where some people may think I was reacting to him but I wasn’t. I was just upset at myself and I think Doug had to get used to that a little bit and sometimes I had to work on not being so sensitive or taking things so personal. It’s a day by day thing and I think it’s helping the team as well.”
What it was like to hit his first ever game winning shot in the NBA the other night:
“It was cool, definitely a blessing. I felt like one of the shots should’ve went in because I felt like my last four or five shots were good. To be able to hit the shot in that situation when my team was counting on me that was definitely cool as well.”
How much more comfortable he is this season as opposed to years past:
“I think comfort level and knowing and understanding what you’re getting when you go into each game. I think the past couple of years I wasn’t sure where my shots were going to come from but I kind of know where they come from in the game and know where I can make a difference.”