The Portland Trail Blazers are on a three-game winning streak, and Evan Turner has helped provide a spark off the bench.
Evan Turner hasn’t been an explosive scorer for the Portland Trail Blazers this season, but he’s played much better in the last three games. His game against the Raptors was just one part of a string of solid performances off the bench. He finished this game with 12 points, six rebounds, and six assists on 5 of 9 shooting in 21 minutes, helping the Trail Blazers get a huge 128-122 upset win.
The former No. 2 overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers is in the third season of a four-year, $70 million deal with the Trail Blazers. His overall versatility and ability to play different positions can be a valuable asset off the bench as the team looks to continue their climb in the Western Conference standings.
Turner delivered a solid effort as the team’s sixth man in Monday’s 131-127 road win against a dangerous Clippers team with 10 points, two rebounds, and two assists, going 4-for-6 from the field in 23 minutes.
And although he didn’t shoot particularly well against the Grizzlies last night, making 3 of 7 attempts, he was still able to impact the game in a hard-fought 99-92 victory, pulling down five rebounds and setting up teammates with four assists in 26 minutes.
Evan Turner is now averaging 8.1 points, five rebounds and 4.2 assists in 25.6 minutes over 30 games, making 46.6 percent of his attempts, although he’s shooting a career-worst 13.3 percent from 3-point range.
After making just 14 of 33 shots while averaging 6.6 points in 24.8 minutes over his previous five games, Turner went 12-for-22 from the field for 9.3 points in 23.3 minutes during Portland’s current three-game winning streak.
The last three games prove how much the Trail Blazers need Turner’s scoring off the bench. He might not be lighting up the scoreboard, but his shot selection has improved, and he’s rebounding and distributing the ball well, grabbing 4.3 rebounds and dishing out four assists in those contests, leading the second unit while the starters rest.
Portland trusted Turner to be a significant contributor two years ago, and he has to keep finding ways to deliver and prove them right. He’s a talented player but he must embrace the role he’s been given this season to fully realize it.
When the Portland bench steps up they can beat anyone and if Evan Turner keeps playing well and improving on offense this team can make a deep playoff run. Hosting the Jazz on Friday will be a big test and a great opportunity for Turner to shine.