Sixers internet hates Evan Turner, and understandably so; he’s whiny, uber-inefficient, and lazy on defense. There’s a lot not to like. We’ve flogged this to death.
But what if I told you that the Sixers were way better with blogger enemy No. 1 on the floor?
Well that’s the case, according to 82games.com. The Sixers have been a bad team (-5.9) with Turner, but a horrible one (-14.7) without him. That net on/off court differential (+8.8) ranks 27th in the league, ahead of James Harden (+8.4), DeMarcus Cousins (+6.9), and LeBron James (+1.4).
One reasonable explanation: the depth-less Sixers have a god-awful bench, one which Turner doesn’t usually play with. According to HoopsStats, the second unit is shooting 42.2 percent and a league-worst 29.4 percent from downtown (h/t, Alec Nathan). Sixth man Tony Wroten has -.7 win shares, which is the worst in the entire NBA.
Yet even if that’s the case — that Turner’s On Court/Off Court splits are inflated by a shitty bench — you’d expect Michael Carter-Williams (+1.8), Spencer Hawes (-1.8), and Thad Young (-1.3) to have numbers that at least approach Turner’s + 8.8. They don’t.
Now, this isn’t to say that Turner is an All-Star, or even a productive player. Any stat that ranks LeBron behind ET (or anyone) should be viewed with skepticism. But if we’re going to use our advanced stat ammo to criticize the former No. 2 pick — and we might only have a few more days to do so — let’s not ignore the ones that don’t support our point.