Things looked very bleak for the Philadelphia 76ers a week ago, then Evan Turner was permanently inserted into the starting lineup, and the rest, as they say, is history. In four starts Turner has helped rejuvenate a pathetic-looking Sixers offense and win three games against solid opponents (Celtics, Jazz, Knicks).
As you would expect, the Sixers have risen in the various NBA Power Rankings, but the upcoming week will tell us a lot, when they will play three games against the Pacers, Bulls and Heat. Two wins would be very impressive.
Make the jump to see where the Sixers ranked after 11 weeks.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com - 8th (4th in East)
Evan Turner, who's in the starting lineup for good, is a big X-factor in the Eastern Conference. He's averaged 22.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in helping the Sixers win three straight, including big division wins over Boston and New York. The new lineup gets tested more this week, facing the Pacers, Heat and Bulls.
Tom Ziller, SB Nation - 10th (4th in East)
Philadelphia has bounced back strong from that February lilt; home court in the first round is now the primary objective, given that Miami and Chicago have sprinted away from the pack. As such, the Sixers have a big game on Wednesday at Indiana.
Chris Sheridan, Sheridan Hoops - 9th (4th in East)
So what turned them from a sputtering engine back into a team that routinely puts up double-digit victories the way they did in the first six weeks of the season? Gotta give some of the credit to Evan Turner, who supplanted Jodie Meeks as the starting 2-guard and went for 26 points in shellacking of Boston and 16-12-6 in win over Jazz. Opponents' average of 87.2 points against is NBA's lowest.
John Hollinger, ESPN - 4th (3rd in the East)
Marc Stein, ESPN - 9th (4th in the East)
More than halfway through his second season, Evan Turner finally looks like a player after replacing Jodie Meeks as a starter. And with four 100-point eruptions this month after going all of February without reaching triple digits, Philly somehow still has the league's third-best nightly point differential at plus-7.5 ppg.
Composite: 8th (4th in East)