Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

What if Andre Iguodala and rookie Evan Turner can't coexist?

Rookie Evan Turner is finding it hard to be productive when Andre Iguodala is on the court at the same time.

What if Andre Iguodala and rookie Evan Turner can't coexist?

Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala will have to work together for more Sixers wins. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala will have to work together for more Sixers wins. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

The Sixers have many problems - not exactly startling news for a team that is currently 5-13. But the biggest one of all right now is that rookie Evan Turner, this year's second overall pick, is finding it hard to be a productive player when he is on the court with Andre Iguodala.

Iguodala missed five full games this season with tendonitis in his right Achilles. During that time, Turner stepped into the starting lineup and showed glimpses of why he was taken No. 2.

Let's take a look at the numbers: In the five games with Iguodala sidelined, Turner shot 23-for-51 (45 percent) and grabbed 8.2 rebounds. The numbers were a direct result of Turner's activeness on the court and confidence.

Now, Iguodala has been back in the lineup for five games and during that time coach Doug Collins has kept Turner in the lineup. During the past five games, Turner has been practically invisible, shooting 23.8 percent (5-for-21) and has a total of 10 rebounds.

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Collins hasn't hidden the fact that Turner struggles with Iguodala, but for now seems intent on keeping Turner in the starting lineup.

Iguodala might be one of the hardest players in this city, in any sport, to figure out. His numbers and all-around play are impressive, but he is not the superstar that this team can build around. He is certainly coveted by many teams in the league, but Philly fans have had a problem warming up to him.

And now, the coveted rookie is finding it hard to play with him. As long as Iguodala is here, he will be on the floor for major minutes. He has averaged over 38 minutes a game during his seven seasons and showed his worth in Tuesday's win over Portland. Though he scored just seven points on four shots, Iguodala was instrumental in leading a Sixers fourth-quarter defense that limited the Trail Blazers to 4-of-20 shooting from the floor.

I've said all along that my feeling is the Sixers will deal Iguodala at some point this season, probably after the midway point. Is the move now more necessary being that the No. 2 pick can't seem to play with Iguodala? Could be. Certainly the organization wants to build the future around the backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Turner. But if Turner's growth is stunted because of his inability to play with Iguodala, what's the solution?

Bob Cooney
About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at cooneyb@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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