Blogs > Sixers Dish

A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


The questions surrounding the 76ers are innumerable. Who Evan Turner would play in “The Legend of Bagger Vance” isn’t one of them.
More on that later.
Sixers coach Doug Collins needs Turner to play the three. The problem with that plan is Turner’s size. The third-year guard (6-7, 205) is likely going to be undersize to defend against guys at the small forward position, compared to those he saw last season as the team’s primary option at shooting guard.
Monday against Boston, Turner was tasked with defending Paul Pierce (6-7, 235). Saturday, he was paired with Brooklyn’s Gerald Wallace (6-7, 220). Later this preseason, he’ll match up with New York’s Carmelo Anthony (6-8, 230).
“We’re going to have to give him situations where he can use his ball skills and all to be able to do that,” Collins said of Turner, who had 10 points and four rebounds in 25 minutes Monday. “I still think he has a huge advantage anytime he rebounds the ball and pushes in the open court. That’s really when Evan’s at his best.”
Turner did well to contain Pierce in the Sixers’ 107-75 victory over the Boston Celtics. Granted, Pierce only played 21 minutes, with most of Boston’s stars playing tempered roles, but it’s the kind of opportunity in which the Sixers need to Turner to thrive.
As for that Bagger Vance thing…
“I talked to Evan the other night before the game in Atlantic City and I thought against Orlando he was really putting so much pressure on himself. All I said is, ‘Play with a peaceful spirit. Cut the noise and all the stuff that’s clanking around.’ I spoke with him. It’s funny.
“You guys know I’m a karma guy or whatever. I went back to my room and the Legend of Bagger Vance was on. I said Evan was Juna (Matt Damon’s character) and I was Will Smith – Bagger. Just how Will Smith was talking about the game, and something would happen. Some little tidbit and, all of a sudden, the guy is unlocked. We’ve just got to get Evan unlocked. That’s all.
“He’s one of our best all-around players. Another thing for Evan is – I said ‘When you’re not a balls-out shooter and all of a sudden J-Rich (Jason Richardson) is on your team and Dorell Wright and Nick Young and all these guys, I don’t want him to think that’s what I’m looking for with him. I told him the other day I’ve never taken a guy out for missing shots, nor will I ever. I just don’t do that. I want him to concentrate on all those great things he brings to our team, focus on his role and what he does for us. Again, it’s all the little dynamics we’re trying to put together.”
In further breaking down Turner’s night against Boston, he had three assists to two turnovers – one was on a sloppy pass on the first possession of the game, the other was a lost ball in the third quarter. Neither had to happen, as both were unforced errors. He shot 5-for-10, which was on par with what the Sixers did as a team (43-for-88, 49 percent), and he pulled down four defensive rebounds.
Not bad, eh Bagger?
“I haven’t watched the movie yet. I’ll have to check it out,” Turner said. “If it’s anything crazy, I’ll have to beat up that bobblehead (of Collins in his locker). (Collins) would be the good-looking guy who makes all the money, right? What a coinky-dink, right?”

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