Brett Brown appreciates the contributions that Evan Turner has made to the 76ers. The Sixers coach, however says that Turner’s emotions sometimes get the best of him and it’s something that the fourth-year swingman has to work on.
It came to light after an incident in Monday’s 94-83 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers. The incident came shortly after Turner had gotten the Sixers to within 80-73 with 7:17 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Sixers, who had trailed in the game by as many as 21, had momentum.
With the Sixers still down seven points, Turner missed a shot on the next possession and appeared to be fouled.
There was no call and as Inquirer Sixers beat writer Keith Pompey describes, “Turner ran in the direction of the official who did not make the call. He had his back turned to a streaking Jared Dudley who was on his way to a layup.”
Not only did Dudley make the layup, but Turner fouled him and Dudley completed the three-point play with 6:33 left.
Turner admitted that he just got “frustrated for a play.”
Speaking after Tuesday’s practice, Brown says that he talks to Turner all the time about keeping his emotions in check.
“The bottom line is that he knows it and has to get through it and he will,” Brown said about Turner controlling his emotions. “It’s been an ongoing conversation.”
And one that may continue throughout the season.
“It is my job to help him and I am his coach and there is something there that has to be fixed for the betterment of the team and to help him progress as he gets older and continues on,” Brown said. “He doesn’t want that side.”
Browns says that in the NBA, a player’s body language means everything.
“You don’ want to beg for anything and even me sometimes, I worry that I am crying too much to the refs,” Brown said. “You have to be smart how you do that and pick your poison, and he will get better.”
Brown also went out of his way to point out what a major contributor Turner has been this season. Turner had a strong game against the Clippers with 25 points. For the season Turner is the Sixers leading scorer (20.7 ppg.) Turner is also averaging 6.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
“Evan is a player, and a very skilled offensive player and we are building on his defense, which is coming around,” Brown said.
Before the game, Clippers coach Doc River compared Turner’s game to Paul Pierce. Rivers coached Pierce for nine seasons with the Celtics.
“He (Turner) doesn’t shoot like Paul, but scores like Paul,” Rivers said.
The 25-year-old Turner has proved to be durable, having missed one game over the past three seasons, including this one. This season the positives have far outweighed the negatives, but it’s Brown’s job to point out both.
“I think his future is huge,” Brown said. “He can be whatever he wants to be and I see improvement.”