Sixers’ Forwards Lead Their Playoff Push

When the Philadephia 76ers drafted Evan Turner second overall in the 2010 NBA Draft, a lot of people wandered what direction the franchise was headed. Over the summer, they had fired head coach Eddie Jordan and replaced him with then TNT analyst Doug Collins, signifying a total change in scheme after running the Princeton offense the previous season under Jordan. Collins would also bring with him a bigger commitment to defense, something that would be hard for the youthful Sixers to grasp.

The decision to take Turner over the likes of Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins, two big men with seemingly unlimited potential, was puzzling, as his game seemed eerily similar to that of Philly’s best player, Andre Iguodala. Both are six-foot-seven point forwards with limited shooting touch but an innate ability to fill up the box score in every single category. Iguodala’s contract combined with Turner’s youthfulness led many to believe picking the Ohio State product was the first step in trading Iguodala for a more potent wing scorer (rumors at the beginning of the season involved Carmelo’s name) or a consistent power forward to give them the production they should have been getting from Elton Brand.

But instead of making the deal, the 76ers stuck with their group of guys and simply added Turner to the rotation as Iguodala’s primary back-up and as the point man for the second unit. The idea that the Eastern Conference was going to be much improved this season forced some Philly fans to panic about keeping their roster the same (other than picking Turner) while the other teams in the conference got better, but midway through the season, that belief hasn’t come to fruition and the Sixers are actually right in the middle of the playoff picture.

More on the Sixers and their playoff status after the break…

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