Evan Turner played his first organized 5-on-5 basketball game on Monday night for the first time since his Ohio State team lost in the Sweet 16 to Tennessee. On March 26th.
The rust was certainly there. Turner often dribbled too much, at times showed frustration with the referees and didn't seem to have the smoothness to his game that helped him become the consesus college player of the year last season. But, he also didn't force things, taking just five shots, went to the glass (getting eight rebounds), and improved as the game went on to help the Sixers defeat the team representing the New Jersey Nets.
"Rusty is a good word," Turner said after the game. "I was trying to get acclimated to playing off the ball. I'm still getting used to cutting quicker off ball screens and stuff like that. It's going to take time to pick up the offense. But I competed and I think my teammates competed and we got the job done."
No one competed better than Turner's backcourt mate, Jrue Holiday, who collected 23 points and seemed head and shoulders better than everyone else on the floor. On Friday, coach Doug Collins told me how good he though Holiday was, better than he imagined. After the game tonight, assistant coach Quin Snyder said the same thing.