Evan Turner will likely lead the Sixers in scoring this season.
Okay, that’s not really a revelation as there are a grand total of about three players on the team that could compete for that distinction. If he was given enough open three-point opportunities and allowed to take as many off-balanced turnarounds as he wanted maybe Spencer Hawes could lay claim to the Sixers’ scoring title. Thaddeus Young is the other viable option in this area, but throughout the first two preseason games Turner has outshot Young 31 to 18, and with Young not being known for his assertive nature on the offensive end, this trend will likely continue throughout the season. Or until Turner gets traded.
This season, Turner should finally have the opportunity to operate with the ball in his hands at least occasionally, which many pundits say is his best approach to pro play. Turner’s points per game have gone up in each of his three professional seasons, and he posted a career-high 13.3 points per last season. With the ball in his hands and no Iguodala or Holiday to defer to, expect to see a lot of those patented Turner jump shots flat-lining towards the rim.
Logically, as his points per have gone up, so has his attempt average and usage rate, more stats that should be bumped up in the absence of other solid scoring options. Turner posted a usage rate of 20.3 last year while playing alongside all-star Jrue Holiday, who posted his own usage rate of 26.2. With Holiday out of the equation, Turner’s usage should increase, and if he shoots at a similar or slightly improved percentage, then his scoring should spike, at least slightly.
Through two preseason games, Turner is averaging 22 points per. While this number likely won’t be sustained throughout the season, there is reason to believe that he could average between 15 to 20 on a nightly basis, especially if he continues to get to the line consistently (he took 22 free throws in the first two preseason games). He bulked up his upper body in the offseason for this purpose, among others.
Turner gets good separation on his shot, if he could just make a decent amount of them that would go a long way as well.
In the end, it is in both parties’ best interest for Turner to perform well for the Sixers this season. For the organization, they can use his solid play as leverage if Turner is to be traded, and Turner himself obviously wants to play well in order to boost his own market value for his next pay day.
All things considered, there should be plenty of opportunity for Evan Turner to put up some points this year, and since someone has to do it, he is likely to lead the Sixers in scoring this season.