Evan Turner the Best Sixer on the Team?
A former No. 2 overall pick, Tuner's expectations pen themselves. He should be one of the foremost stars in the game -- a prerequisite for which is being the best player on the team. You could argue who that mantle belonged to last year. (Not the least reason for which is the ultimate ambiguity of "best." But you know what I'm talking about.) Andre Iguodala wasn't just the best defender on a defensive-first outpost. He was the team's only all-star, the first non-Allen Iverson Sixers rep in the game since 2002 (Dikembe Mutombo). Lou Williams led the team in scoring off the bench. Jrue Holiday quarterbacked some of the team's best games in its postseason run. We couldn't do this all day. But long enough to come to the conclusion that Turner's got competition.
Still, there's reality (or opinion or whatever) and then there's perception -- most notably, that of Doug Collins, who yo-yo'd Turner throughout the season, sliding him in and out of the starting lineup (Turner didn't start in 2012 until Mar. 5, was yanked after 18 games, and rode pine for another eight before being tapped the rest of the way Apr. 25) bashing and ballyhooing him depending on the moment. (Peep this, and this for a microcosm of everything you need to know.) The point could be made, though, that despite the Collins-Turner thing being hot and cold, Collins was just assuming a fatherly tone, scolding Turner in an effort to try to milk the best out of him -- or at least the best Collins expects.
Which brings us to this: A one-on-one Turner held with Dei Lynam of CSN Philly Thursday.
Said Turner, when asked what he needed to work on most in the offseason: " ... The last two or three months of the season, Mike Curry helped get me a routine. ... He said, 'by the time the playoffs come, you'll be the best player on the team.' And I definitely played some great minutes."
A not so liberal listen of which tells you two things:
(1) The staff believes in him. A lot.
(2) Turner's starting to believe in himself.
Both matter. The former, for obvious reasons we just spent about 300 words articulating. The latter, for less publicized reasons, like that Turner's been said to not quite have his head screwed on right. Confidence, it seems, is in bloom for Turner, both from himself and the organization. Good stuff, we think.