Turner Uses What He Was Given To His Advantage Versus Pacers

by Casey Holdahl
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At one point in the second quarter of Friday night’s 114-96 victory versus the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Trail Blazers guard/forward Evan Turner executed a pantomime which has become somewhat familiar in professional sports. While get back down the floor after a made fadeaway jumper, Turner rotated his hand in a circular motion toward his face in an attempt to mimic the act of using a spoon to shovel food into his mouth, with the implication being he was metaphorically consuming whatever the Pacers’ defense was serving.

In short and increasing-common sports parlance, Turner was eatin,’ and in this case it was an especially appropriate piece of performance art considering the way he went about scoring most of the 13 points he posted in the second quarter. Using his physical advantages, Turner easily posted up Victor Oladipo whenever the Pacers’ guard was unfortunate enough to get switched onto the former Buckeye, which happened on multiple occasions during Turner’s run in the second quarter.

“He had a baby in the house,” said CJ McCollum of Turner’s play in the second quarter. “Evan’s a load, he’s strong man, he’s very strong. He knows how to feel and spin off guys and get to his spots and you seen that. I think he scored six in a row. He kind of told them ‘I’m out here eating.’”

Listed at 6-7, Turner has roughly three inches on Oladipo, though it was his width that arguably provided the greater advantage. Even though he’s incredibly fit, Turner by his own admission is a bit wide in the midsection, which can be a useful physical attribute in the post, even if it possess other issues off the court.

“That definitely helps,” said Turner of his lower core. “Low man always wins the battle and sometimes just being able to move certain guys coming from the strength you have down low helps. It’s a good thing and a bad thing. When the season’s over and I put on weight and I can’t fit into any of my pants it’s a terrible thing. But when I’m in shape and I’m on the court, it helps out a lot.”

The assistance Turner gets from his ample backside is something his teammates can attest to firsthand.

“He know it’s going to get real physical down there when I get switched onto him,” said Damian Lillard of battling in the block with Turner during practices. “ET, he’s a character so in practices, you know what’s going to happen when he comes down to that block. It’s going to get physical.”

“(Turner) is a heavy guy,” said McCollum, who has also spent his fair share of time defending Turner in the post. “Guarding him down there takes a lot of energy out of you and that’s why he’s able to do so many things.”

Turner has certainly done plenty in helping the Trail Blazers get off to a 2-0 start, from filling in at starting two guard while McCollum served a one-game suspension to taking over primary ball handling duties at times to take pressure off of Lillard. And after Friday night, you can add a healthy dose of behind-added post scoring to the list of things he's done in the first week of the regular season.

“The biggest thing is when you’re posting up is sometimes when they’re trying to fight and push me off the block I still have confidence that I can get the ball and get to my operating spots,” said Turner. “Obviously I’m glad I have it.”