Five Early Takeaways from the Sixers' Season Thus Far

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Evan Turner has Shown Signs of Drastic Improvement

 Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Since being drafted second overall by the Sixers in the 2010 draft, Evan Turner has struggled to live up to the high expectations placed on his shoulders. One of the main problems has been his inability to develop a consistent jump shot. Turner has worked with several shooting coaches over the years to work on the problem, and it seems like the work is finally starting to pay off.

All be it a small sample size, Evan Turner is currently the leading scorer for the Sixers early on in the season. The Ohio State product is averaging 23.0 PPG to go along with 4 RPG and 3 APG. The 23 points per game is ten points higher than his career high of 13 PPG which he averaged last year. What’s more impressive is how Turner is actually scoring at a career high rate, and this is where the improvement has come into play.

Up until this year, Turner scored majority of his points by driving down the lane and using his incredible athleticism to finish at the rim. He has always had a knack for getting into the paint throughout  his young career. The problem was that without a consistent jumper, defenses would collapse on Turner and force him to shoot outside of the paint where he struggled to convert those opportunities.

This year has been a completely different story. After showing some improvement last year when he shot a career high from behind the arc, Turner has taken strides in improving his mid-range jump shot. Through three games, Evan Turner is shooting 50% from the field. Rather than beating defenses in the paint, Turner is now making them pay with his improved shooting. Many of these opportunities have come from drive and kicks from Michael Carter-Williams, but Turner has also used to crafty ball handling skills to create open shots for himself, something he has not done much in his career.

Granted that the 76ers are only three games into the season, Turner’s signs of improvement are encouraging. If he can continue to score at this rate to go along with his rebounding and passing abilities, Turner will earn himself a pretty nice contract from the 76ers at season’s end.

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