By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After a disappointing rookie season, things were looking up for Evan Turner. He wasn’t starting, but he was playing a meaningful role on the Sixers bench. He was rebounding, his jump shot looked better, and he looked more comfortable. And then, all of a sudden, it went away.
February saw a notable decrease in Turner’s minutes and overall production during those minutes. The jump shot looked lost again. He went from looking like he was starting to fit in, to more like he did his rookie season.
To try and jump start the team’s play, coach Doug Collins put Turner into the starting lineup Wednesday night against the Bucks. Though he rebounded well and looked aggressive, Turner shot 1-12.
Stan Hochman, long-time writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, says that there’s a reason for Turner’s troubles. “There’s an explanation for Turner’s inconsistent play. One of these days, the team, with Turner’s permission, will reveal it. And then the criticism will back off,” he said during an interview with 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on Wednesday.
Hochman indicated that the information was given to him with the knowledge that he would not reveal exactly what the problem is. He said that at some point this season, he believes it will be made public.
Hochman has never been known as a rumor-monger, so one would believe there is validity to what he told Cataldi.
Sixers beat writer for the Daily News Bob Cooney indicated recently (see related story) that he believed Collins was having a tough time coaching Turner, due to second-year guard’s immaturity.
**UPDATE** – 94WIP’s Howard Eskin says a front office source within the Sixers organization assures him there is no problem with Evan Turner that they are aware of. “There is nothing going on with Turner, nothing, no problems,” Eskin said. In addition, the source indicated that Evan Turner has no idea what the problem that Hochman referenced was either.
Doug Collins and Evan Turner later addressed Hochman’s comments, denying any such problem was an issue.
Stan Hochman later issued an apology, but not a denial.
The Sixers play the Celtics tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. The game can be heard live on 94WIP at 7pm.
Listen to the entire interview with Stan Hochman: