I loved writing that headline. Loved it a lot.
Remember all those stories about Evan Turner being bipolar, the hypnotist he allegedly met with, and the overall sentiment that he was nuts? Well! here’s a story for you. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports that Turner was dragged out of a Pacers practice the night before Game 1 of their playoff series after fighting with teammate Lance Stephenson:
On the eve of this Eastern Conference series, the wobbling No. 1 seed punctuated its final playoff preparations in a most self-destructive way: Two Indiana Pacers dragged a cursing, cut Evan Turner out of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse court, untangling him from a practice-floor fistfight with teammate Lance Stephenson.
Turner hadn’t been the first Pacer to lose his temper with Stephenson these tumultuous several weeks, and Stephenson’s relentlessly irritable nature suggests Turner won’t be the last. These scrapes aren’t uncommon in the NBA, but this confrontation had been weeks in the making and that reflected in the ferocity of the encounter, sources told Yahoo Sports.
These two guards have struggled together since the deadline deal brought Turner from Philadelphia to Indiana. Suddenly, Turner is learning to play without the ball in his hands, and Stephenson is relearning the balance of passing and shooting. Truth be told, there were probably Pacers willing to let Stephenson and Turner beat the dribble out of each other. Still, Luis Scola and David West finally grabbed an enraged Turner and separated Stephenson.
Bird made two significant deals to fortify this title run – Turner for Danny Granger, and the signing of Andrew Bynum – and those haven’t worked for him. Bynum could be done for the season with his knee problems, and perhaps everyone underestimated how much Granger had left in him, and how awkwardly Turner would fit into the Pacers.
Though it’s certainly not all Turner’s fault, the Pacers have gone 15-13 since the trade. That’s after a 41-13 start.
Turner is averaging just 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game since being traded. That’s compared to 17.4, 6.0 and 3.7 with the Sixers this season. He’s playing fewer minutes, but the production rate still isn’t where it was. Per 36 minutes, he’s averaging 12.1 points (17.9 with Sixers), 5.4 rebounds (6.1) and 4.0 (3.8) assists with the Pacers. Meep meep!