The Indiana Pacers are a hot mess right now, and this play is just an illustration of their struggles.
During the third quarter of the Atlanta Hawks’ 101-93 win over the Pacers Saturday, Jeff Teague fooled Evan Turner with a sweet crossover.
Maybe Turner’s defensive assignment was to make sure he didn’t get beat to the baseline and that could be why he went so hard, but he was so faked out it was embarrassing. He was so lost his back ended up facing Teague:
Teague led the Hawks with 28 points in the game. Roy Hibbert continued to struggle for Indiana, posting just 8 points and 8 rebounds. They’re looking terrible.
Evan Turner and James Harden got up close and personal with each other during Friday night’s Indiana Pacers-Houston Rockets game over a bit of nonsense. Things only calmed down after the referees separated the two. It also helped when David West stepped in to make everyone back down.
The incident occurred in the third quarter with Houston up 73-50 on Indiana. Turner got a steal and was quickly fouled, which prevented him from having an easy transition basket. Still, Turner continued to head toward the basket anyway for fun, but Harden got in his way to keep him from putting in a layup.
That led to Turner pushing Harden, Harden stepping to Turner, and the two going nose-to-nose with each other. Double-technicals were handed out for the incident.
You think they were just talking about setting up belated Valentine’s Day plans?
One of the biggest NBA trades on Thursday came less than an hour before the deadline expired, with the Indiana Pacers sending Danny Granger to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Evan Turner. The deal actually came so close to the deadline passing that Turner had already started planning a vacation for when the regular season came to an end.
The Sixers are one of the worst teams in the NBA. The Pacers have the best record in the Eastern Conference and are a legitimate championship contender. Turner was shocked when he heard the news.
“Definitely excited. Still shocked; I thought the trade deadline was over,” Turner told Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star. “I was actually setting up my postseason (vacation) with my agent’s assistant and pretty much when I was telling her the days I wanted to go. (Then) she said, ‘Well, no we can’t book (those days), you’ve just got traded.’
“Hopefully, I can play basketball while it’s nice out. That’s the best time to do it. I’m looking forward to the future and the next few months with the team.”
Turner will gladly delay his vacation if it means getting a shot to play basketball in the late spring and early summer. As for Granger — well, getting traded from a team that has won 41 games to a cellar-dweller with only 15 wins can’t be easy.
Danny Granger was "pissed" when he learned he was traded to the Sixers, per league source.
Granger spent more than eight seasons with the Pacers and was once their best offensive players, but he missed almost the entire 2012-2013 season with knee injuries. He has played in just 29 games this season and is averaging 8.3 points per game. On the bright side, he can now start planning an April vacation to the tropical paradise of his choice.
The first-round playoff series between the Bulls and 76ers got much more exciting thanks to some comments from Evan Turner. The Sixers guard was asked last weekend what it would mean to play the Bulls in the playoffs, and he answered candidly.
“I think we’ll be able to compete well against Chicago,” Turner said, “and have an opportunity to win the series.”
The Sixers were eliminated by the Heat in five games last season, so Turner prefers the alternative. One could even argue that Philly tanked in their final game on Thursday by resting four of their top players. They lost to the Pistons while the Knicks, with whom they were tied, beat the Bobcats.
Turner tried clarifying his comments by sending a few tweets on Wednesday:
The final possession of the Ohio State/Tennessee Sweet Sixteen game on Friday night was significant for reasons beyond the outcome of the game and it leaves me asking several questions. One, keeping in mind that Evan Turner is Ohio State’s best player, should he have passed the ball to one of his teammates, namely David Lighty who was open at the top of the key, instead of taking either one of his horrible three point attempts to tie the game? Two, was he fouled by J.P. Prince on the final shot that was blocked as time expired? Three, was Turner a poor sport for brushing aside the hand of teammate Jon Diebler who tried to pick him up and for walking past Tennessee without congratulating them for winning? Before we answer those questions let’s examine the video of Evan Turner’s last shot against Tennessee via Matt Norlander at The Dagger:
To answer the first question, Turner took a very low percentage three pointer from the corner. He would have been better off shooting from the wing or passing to Lighty at the top of the key. It also goes without saying that his second shot had zero percentage because Prince was in his face. To answer the second question, Prince did appear to foul Turner so Evan should have been at the line with a chance to tie the game. Lastly, although I feel Turner’s pain for seeing his season come to an end — especially after he missed the team’s final three shots — he still should be more respectful of his teammates and opponents. I will also note that this probably happens frequently in athletics and that we really only see it if/when we’re looking for it, but Turner is a high-profile star so his actions are magnified, and I don’t disagree with the assertion that he was bitter. Turner should treat his teammates better and he he should be more gracious to his opponents. Now I understand why Mark Titus nicknamed Evan “The Villain” and where Titus’ reference to Turner as a headcase comes from.
Two final thoughts, one this is different from LeBron because LeBron’s worse mistake was avoiding the media after losing. I can understand being upset immediately after losing a game, but you have to face the same media that praises you following wins even after a loss. He even admitted that was a mistake. Lastly, that same chip on the shoulder Turner has during games that got him into trouble after the game is an excellent characteristic; who doesn’t want their player to have a killer instinct during battle? You just have to know when to turn it off.
Video: Evan Turner blocked at the buzzer; did he walk off the floor without shaking Tennessee’s hands? [The Dagger]
Naming the Villain [Club Trillion]
Evan Turner Wasn’t Always So Friendly [The Sporting Blog]
Evan Turner has been a star for Ohio State through seven games. The junior is leading the team with 20.6 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 6.6 apg, oh yeah, and he’s also shooting 62% from the field. The stud has already triple-doubled twice, or three times depending on if you can’t the turnover category in the game against North Carolina. Quite clearly Turner’s been awesome. Unfortunately for Evan, he was the subject of one of the more gruesome basketball injuries I’ve ever seen. Keep in mind that Turner now has two broken verterbra as the result of his fall. Here’s the Evan Turner injury video:
The sad part is that Turner was playing so well and now he’s had his season derailed. Even his coach, Thad Matta, said Turner was shining this year: “Evan was to this point in the season the best player in college basketball. We have been through tough situations before and our guys will regroup and prepare for the rest of our season starting with Butler next week in Indianapolis.” This is a terrible break for the Buckeyes, no pun intended. It sucks to see a guy go down when he’s playing so well.