PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When Evan Turner got traded from the Sixers to the Indiana Pacers just before the NBA trade deadline, it seemed like he was moving up in the world.
He went from the second worst team in the Eastern Conference to the best, and would get an opportunity to show he can perform for a good team, rather than just putting up numbers on a bad one.
It hasn’t worked out quite as expected.
The Pacers performance has a team has suffered over the last two months, and Turner’s production has taken a steep dive. After averaging 17.9 points per game for the Sixers, he averaged just 12.1 points per game for the Pacers, on 41% shooting and noticeably bad defense. There were also rumors that Pacers center Roy Hibbert was speaking of Turner when he mentioned “selfish” players being an issue for Indiana.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Turner and teammate Lance Stephenson got in a fistfight the day before the Pacers opening series with the Hawks began. The Pacers lost the opening game of the series to the eighth Hawks.
On the eve of this Eastern Conference series, the wobbling No. 1 seed punctuated its final playoff preparations in a most self-destructive way: Two Indiana Pacers dragged a cursing, cut Evan Turner out of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse court, untangling him from a practice-floor fistfight with teammate Lance Stephenson.
The Pacers did win the second game of the series with the Hawks, so perhaps the fight did some good.