Some Perspective on the Bossness of Evan Turner's Last Two Games

Some Perspective on the Bossness of Evan Turner's Last Two Games

What a difference two games make. Evan Turner had been in the sophomore
slump to end all sophomore slumps—yes, even including The Stone Roses' Second Coming and the second season of Heroes—about
a month-long stretch in which the Extraterrestrial's subpar play got
him tethered to the Sixers' bench and positives were few and far
between. But after being moved to the strating lineup and getting a 1-12
shooting stretch out of the way in Milwaukee, ET has been straight fire
for these Sixers, scoring seemingly at will and rebounding and moving
the ball like the triple-double threat we all believed him to be coming
out of Ohio State.

How good has Turner been, especially compared to his down stretch
leading up to his breakout? Consider the stats for some perspective:

Turner scored a combined 42 points in the two games. He scored a combined 39 points in the ten games leading up to it. 
He got to the line a combined six times—as many trips to the line as he took in the 11 games previously—and converted five of them, as many as in his last 12 games.
He went a combined 18-31 from the field, converting one more field
goal than he had in the ten games prior, and raising his FG% from 40.8%
to 42.4% for the season.
The 12 rebounds he grabbed last night and in Milwaukee was a season higha, and matches a career high for him, set last year against Toronto.
Though he sat out for half the fourth quarter in garbage time, the
36:30 he played in Wednesday's game against Boston was a
then-season-high for Evan, and 43:05 he played against Utah is the most he's played since that previously mentioned Toronto game last year.
Basketball-Reference
rates single-game performances with an overall Game Score, in which
Evan's last two rated a 19.2 and 16.1, his best and fourth-best of the
year, respectively. Their combined score is 35.3, while the combined
scores of his last 12 games was just 31.5—including two negative scores
of -0.9 and -2.6. 
Way to be, ET. Here's hoping you can take that show on the road now—we could really use it against New York on Sunday.

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."