Turner, Holiday two sharply different personalities

Turner, Holiday two sharply different personalities

February 10, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Evan Turner snapped a four-game, single-digit scoring streak on Saturday with 16 points in the Sixers' 87-76 win over the Bobcats. The competitive, feisty, former No. 2 overall pick says his slump was easy to analyze.

“Once again, it is all about shots. What, did I shoot 17 times?” asked Turner, who finished 7 for 17 from the floor. “What people judge my success on is my points, obviously. But you need shots and that is not aiming at anybody. My man Herb Magee says you can’t make shots without taking them, so if you get seven shots some nights, or go a whole second half without a shot and we win, to me that is a successful night. But when it comes to an individual situation, I am in a slump.”

Turner has averaged 12.9 shots per game this season, tied with Thaddeus Young for second on the team behind Jrue Holiday’s 17.2. Prior to Saturday night, Turner was in a four-game stretch where he averaged just five points on nine shots. In the four games prior to that, he averaged 22 points on 16.5 shots per game.

Now in his third year in the NBA, weathering the ups and downs continues to prove tricky for Turner.

“When he gets in those places, the one thing I have learned is to say very little to him,” head coach Doug Collins said. “Some guys you maybe talk a little bit more to or talk them through things, but Evan is so hard on himself, so I have learned in those moments to say he will find it. I might say on occasion, 'Evan lets not try and force a pass there,' but I try to keep it minimal and very stoic.”

Turner has a polar opposite personality to that of his even-keeled teammate Jrue Holiday, who is one year further along in his NBA career. Turner came to the Sixers with high expectations given his draft position and recognition as the 2010 Naismith Player of the Year, while Holiday entered the league with less of a preceding reputation. But Holiday is now an all-star as Turner remains a work in progress.

“I think they are good for each other,” Collins suggested. “Evan has an edge about him and Jrue is L.A. cool. I was very proud of Jrue [on Saturday night]. In a couple huddles, he said a couple things that I thought were so beneficial and I talked to him about that today. I thought a couple comments he made in the second quarter helped us win the game just by him speaking. I thought that was a really positive thing and is one of the things I am continuing to encourage with him.

"With Evan, I want him to speak but not out of emotion. Passionate, yes, but emotional -- we get going different directions.”

Coaching emotion is a different dynamic than playing alongside it.

“When [Turner] gets revved up, I do too inside,” Holiday said. “I don’t really show it. When he wants to, he can go for 20-25 easy. He is a hard worker and a load. It is fun to play with him. I like playing with him. I love seeing Evan go at somebody. It was one of those one-on-one battles. Ben (Gordon) was going at him and Evan went right back at Ben. Evan can hang with the big dogs.”

The admiration is mutual.

"As a 22-year-old, he is mature in general," Turner said, referencing Holiday. "He has had a chance to get his experience. His second year in the playoffs, he played great. Those playoff times are big. His third year he kept getting better. It is like sharpening the knife. He is playing great right now, and he is only going to get better.”

If only the Sixers could follow Holiday's example.

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