Evan Turner's inconsistency continues

March, 26, 2013

If all had gone according to plan for the Philadelphia 76ers this season, Jrue Holiday's breakout campaign would have been paired with Andrew Bynum's domination in the paint, while Evan Turner would have replaced Andre Iguodala's versatile role on the wing with his own coming-out party.

Everyone knows how Bynum turned out, but often lost amid the latest Bynum knee surgery and bowling reports is the fact that Turner has not lived up to expectations.

Monday's game -- 6 points (2-for-6 FG), 6 rebounds, 0 assists, 3 turnovers -- was the latest example, but March has been filled with awful box scores. Consider that he has shot less than 15 percent from the field in a game twice this month, and on Thursday, Turner turned the rock over six times without dishing a single dime.

He's not even really teasing us with more than the occasional decent game or two (like back-to-back double-doubles to start the month), and he doesn't steal enough balls (0.9 per game this season) to make a difference in that department. Even more perplexing is that he has shot pretty well from beyond the arc this season -- 36.2 percent overall, with three months of at least 38.7 percent -- but he hasn't averaged more than 2.2 3-point attempts per game in any month, so he's not even contributing as a 3-point threat.

In the short term, there is little reason to ride him out as the season winds down. Looking ahead to next season, he may have the opportunity to prove himself to be a genuine NBA playmaker, but he has shown no reason to believe that will come to fruition. Unless he has a red-hot summer, I expect that I will be shying away from Turner during drafts next fall.

Looking Back

• The New Orleans Hornets played Monday against the Denver Nuggets without their starting backcourt, as both Greivis Vasquez and Eric Gordon sat out with ankle injuries. The good news for them is that Vazquez appeared close to playing, so he may be back for their next game, while Gordon at least wasn't sidelined due to his troublesome knee. In their absence, Brian Roberts went berserk with 13 points (5-for-10 FG), 18 assists and 5 rebounds in 41 minutes. The last time he topped the 40-minute mark (March 10), he had 9 points and 9 boards, so he's acquitted himself pretty well when given the chance. If Vasquez and Gordon are slow to return, Roberts could be worth a roll of the dice.

John Wall was already hot this month, but he exploded for 47 points (13-for-22 FG, 19-for-24 FT), 8 dimes and 7 rebounds against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday. If he manages to finish the season healthy and with continued stellar play, fantasy owners are going to draft him in the second round next season. To really earn that draft spot, he is going to have to learn to shoot 3-pointers better, though, since he is a career 24.7 percent shooter from beyond the arc.

Stephen Curry battled through his latest ankle malady Monday and looked no worse for wear, scoring 25 points to go with 10 dimes, 7 boards and 3 3s, though his shooting (9-for-24 FG) left a lot to be desired. Curry's bum ankles have been an ongoing issue this season, but he has somehow managed to battle through the pain most of the time. Let's hope he will continue to do so as the season winds down.

Looking Ahead

Dwyane Wade skipped his second straight game Monday due to a sore right knee, but he said he expects to return to action when the Miami Heat take their epic win streak back to his Chicago roots Wednesday.

• Things aren't nearly as rosy for Kevin Garnett, who is expected to miss about two weeks of action due to inflammation in his ankle. The injury doesn't sound too serious, but it couldn't have come at a worse time for fantasy squads. Jeff Green should get the chance to shine while KG is sidelined.

• Tyson Chandler's sore neck has improved enough that he may be cleared to return on Tuesday or Wednesday. You'll need to check for updates as game time nears this evening, but if he is active, it seems safe to plug him back into your lineup.

• It remains unclear when Ty Lawson will return from his heel injury. He missed his third straight game Monday, and while Andre Miller didn't play well in his place (9 points, 6 dimes and 3 turnovers), he remains a must-start guard as long as Lawson is sidelined. The Nuggets play next on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs.

Chris Paul is dealing with some swelling in his left knee, so he could skip Tuesday's tilt with the Dallas Mavericks. If that becomes the case, Eric Bledsoe should be a quality fill-in at the point. All CP3 owners should probably add Bledsoe as insurance, in case CP3's knee ailment lingers.

Martell Webster finally succumbed to his abdominal strain and skipped Monday's game as a result. Considering the nature of abdominal muscle injuries, he could be out a while longer. Trevor Ariza and Chris Singleton should pick up some extra minutes and touches, but neither is going to match the strong play we have seen from Webster in recent weeks.

Fastbreak Player of the Night

There are plenty of games Wednesday, which means there are plenty of high-end Fastbreak options. At center, I'm going to go with Al Horford. He has been playing some great basketball recently and has a terrific matchup against the beatable Toronto Raptors' frontcourt. He should be a shoo-in for 20-plus points, and 30-plus points is well within reach.



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