This Saturday, team NBA World took on team NBA Africa in an exhibition game in Johannesburg. The two rosters were composed of a litany of current high-level Association players, as well as NBA legends Dikembe Mutombo and Hakeem Olajuwon. While all-stars strutted their stuff for the fans, Boston's own Evan Turner was quietly filling up the box score.
The Ohio State product finished the game with 14 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and a pair of steals in a little over twenty-seven minutes of action (the assists were a game high). Perhaps more importantly, he shot 63.6% from the floor in the contest.
Now, obviously, this is only an exhibition, and Turner played more minutes than anyone else in the game. However, this game can serve as a microcosm of Turner's career in Boston thus far, and moving forward; the man can fill up a stat sheet. Throughout the offseason, he has been discussed less than almost any other member of the roster. I am ashamed to say that I have found myself almost forgetting about him from time to time over the past couple of months. However, he spent the year repeatedly reminding us that he can fill up a box score, and did so again on Saturday night.
Even though he may not be on the forefront of everyone's minds, he'll still likely spend most of the year (or at least the beginning of it) in the starting lineup, and he'll still be racking up assist and rebounds, and creating off the dribble like few other players on the roster can. Turner is a worthy member of the starting 5, and will allow Smart to continue to develop his ball-handling and general point guard skills in a pressure-free environment.
Nice game, ET. We'll look forward to watching you put up those kinds of numbers (with that kind of efficiency) during the season.