On Friday night, Evan Turner had arguably his best game in a month, leading the Sixers with 29 points, 10 rebounds and the game-winning basket for the team's first win in eight tries.
Twenty-four hours later against the Bucks, Turner couldn’t buy a basket. He made just 2 of 15 field goal attempts.
Between the two outings, something was clearly different.
He looked gimpy Saturday, and as it turns out, Turner is suffering from right knee soreness, the Sixers said on Sunday. He is sore enough that he would be questionable if the Sixers played a game tonight.
Fortunately, they don't play another game until Saturday when they visit the Phoenix Suns.
“It is nothing to be concerned about,” Brett Brown said after a light Sunday practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “He played a lot of minutes the night before in a tough win and he had a great game. But yes, he did pull up lame.”
Turner’s season as a whole has been interesting. He had a strong first month, averaging 21.1 points per game on 46 percent shooting.
But in December, he is averaging 16 points per game on 39 percent shooting.
“Evan’s stuff is well-documented,” Brown said. “He knows he has to be more consistent.”
That has been Turner’s goal for the past couple of seasons, yet it still eludes him. It's not as if he doesn’t put in the time or hard work.
On Thursday, when the Sixers' practice concluded, some young guys were doing their shooting drills as they do on a daily basis. Turner was off to the side, sitting alone on a bench watching. He was patiently waiting for Hollis Thompson to finish so that he could get a game of one-on-one against the rookie.
“For me, game-time situations definitely helps,” Turner said, explaining the benefits from playing Thompson. “It gets me in a game rhythm. I learn what I can do with each shot, make or miss. One day, when I was a rookie, [Andre] Iguodala and I played and it made the game so much easier for both of us.
“It is always hard to find a guy that is willing to play one-on-one. Everybody wants to save their bodies, save their legs, but I would much rather do that than anything else.”
“I love the group for their attention to work,” Brown said. “We said we wanted to develop. We said we wanted to create a culture and we’ve done that. I hope amongst our losses and some poor, poor defensive performances, I hope people understand there are some positives I am proud of.”