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Evan Turner's Tremendous Rebounding Pushes Sixers in Transition


We've been telling you again and again that Evan Turner's defensive rebounding ability is not to be ignored. It is, as the saying goes, what translates the most from college to the pros. Turner had a 23.5 DREB% at Ohio State and a decent 16.9 last season. But this year, he's been absurd, especially in the past four games where he's hauled in a ridiculous 48 rebounds. For a guard, that's absolutely unprecedented.

His 23.7 DREB% is easily the best for a guard or guard/forward IN THE HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE. Jason Kidd's 06-07 season comes in second place with a 20.8%. This is uncharted territory for a guard. You can say that guards are meant to shoot/pass/dribble and rebounding is gravy but why does it matter what player is filling the role as long as the role is being filled? If the Sixers had Ryan Anderson, I don't think anyone would complain if he shot a ton of three's while Evan hauled in the defensive rebounds. The parts go together very nicely with Louis Williams, Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday hitting a high percentage of outside shots - the fact that Evan gets the rebounds should not matter.

What makes it even better is what Turner does after he grabs the rebound. Using, I looked at each one of the 34 defensive rebounds Turner brought in the past three games. Click through to see some numbers.

I categorized each of the 45 rebounds into one of four sections:

  1. Turner starts the half-court offense.
  2. Turner takes the ball to the basket and scores.
  3. Turner drives and finds a teammate for a shot at the basket or foul shots.
  4. Turner pushes it and turns it over or misses.

On times where Evan got the outlet from another player or stole the ball (like this one), I left out. This is ONLY on times when Evan gets the rebound and takes it up the court himself in transition.

8 defensive rebounds vs. Celtics

  • He started the half court offense 5 times.
  • He scored 2 times in transition.
  • He had one transition assist (the oop to Iguodala)
  • No turnovers or misses.

The Sixers scored on 48.1% of their possessions against the Celtics. When in transition, they scored on 61.9% of them.

12 defensive rebounds vs. Jazz

  • He started the half court offense 7 times.
  • He scored 1 time in transition.
  • He had 4 transition plays which resulted in assists, open shots or fouls for a teammate.
  • No turnovers or misses.

The Sixers scored on 49.5% of their possessions against the Jazz. In transition, they scored on 66.7% of them.

14 defensive rebounds vs Knicks

  • He started the half court offense 8 times.
  • He scored 2 times in transition.
  • He found teammates for buckets or fouls 3 times on the break.
  • He had 1 turnover, on the last time he pushed the ball after a rebound.

The Sixers scored on 48.1% of their possessions against the Knicks. When in transition, they scored on 61.9% of them.


So basically, Evan knows the team is weak in the half court and uses his unmatched defensive rebounding skills to push the ball and see how many buckets they can get in transition. That's unquestionably their strength as a team, with all the ball-handlers they have and fewer guys that can create for themselves in a traditional set.

Evan has finally been given the free reign to play his game and so far, it's paid off huge dividends. He's pushed it upcourt 14 times on the 34 defensive rebounds he's had the past three games and only turned it over ONE TIME. This is why it's good when guards rebound. Elton Brand will not be navigating through defenders in transition any time soon.

Evan - keep doing what you're doing.

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