Evan Turner has a shot to start for the Celtics in the absence of Rajon Rondo
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is out for the foreseeable future as he heals a broken hand, and a familiar face may be taking over his starting spot at the point guard position in the meantime.
According to Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely, former Sixer swingman Evan Turner has a serious shot at starting for the Celtics during Rondo's absence.
"The 6-foot-7 Turner is firmly entrenched in the mix for the job, along with rookie Marcus Smart and second-year guard Phil Pressey," Blakely writes.
Turner filled in as a point guard at times with the Sixers, but he hasn't played the position full-time since his days at Ohio State. While Turner has demonstrated an ability to be a playmaker from the perimeter, he is also known to dominate with the dribble and to take some questionable shots. His inconsistent play with the Sixers was frustrating, and at times infuriating, as the franchise and the fanbase waited for him to live up to the expectations that came when the Sixers selected him second overall in the 2010 Draft.
After a short, largely unsuccessful stint in Indiana, Turner now finds himself two cities away from the team that drafted him with an opportunity to reignite his career as a Celtic. The former National Player of the Year is embracing the opportunity with an open attitude.
"I'm re-learning [the point guard position] for the most part and also just learning the system and different positions here," Turner said at team training camp. "I'm going to learn three perimeter spots; just being prepared."
Turner, who played with the ball in his hands throughout his college career and struggled when switched to an off-ball spot with the Sixers, is ready to go back to his preferred position.
"It's how I grew up playing for the most part. I'm more comfortable with that as opposed to being a catch and shoot guy which I've done in the past. I think it's advantageous to what I like, too."
What Turner likes, ball domination and mid-range jumpers, didn't work well with the Sixers, but maybe he will have more success as a Celtic. He apparently already has the confidence of his coach, Brad Stevens.
"Not withstanding Rondo, [Turner] is as good a pick-and-roll player as we have. He's a ball-handler, he can make plays, he's smart, and I think that keeps our other guys in the positions where they are most comfortable."
Opportunities aren't endless, and Turner knows that he has to make the most out of his shot with the Celtics. He knows what he needs to do.
"It's my fifth year in the league. I know at the end of the day it's all about making plays."