Immediately after the college basketball season and leading up to the NBA Draft a lot of blogs decided to get contrarian for no real reason and say that Evan Turner should be selected number one over John Wall. Such a thought now sounds absolutely ludicrous, much like we’ll all feel stupid for bobbing our heads to Ke$ha a year from now. But seriously, before the draft enough blogs (which are usually very good), and reputable sites, were hyping Turner that SLAM ran this story weighing the merits.
Well, at least last night Wall showed why he was rightfully selected number one overall. Wall had a “good”, but not great night against the 76ers, finishing with 18 points and 14 assists in 38 minutes. Now, don’t get us wrong, that’s wonderful production from a rookie point guard. However, games like that have been more the norm for Wall than the exception, which speaks to just how good he’s been this season.
While Wall’s stats probably left the 76ers wondering what could have been if the ping pong balls had bounced their way, Turner’s line was more a cause for concern. In 27 minutes, Turner may as well have been a ghost, scoring just two points and pulling down four boards while turning the ball over three times. This final line from Turner is unsurprising as Wall’s, but for all the wrong reasons. On the season Turner is averaging only seven points, under five rebounds, and under two assists per game, but is still seeing nearly 25 minutes of action a night.
In their head-to-head games the contrast is even clearer. In his two games against the 76ers this season John Wall is averaging 27 points, 10 assists, three rebounds, five steals, and five turnovers in his 40 minutes per game. All those numbers are above Wall’s season averages. In the same two games Turner is averaging just 10 points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 24 minutes per game.
None of this is meant to say that Evan Turner won’t be a good pro. In fact, we think that he’ll find his stride around the 60 game mark and finish the season strong. However, it seems that at least for this season the argument of who should have gone number one should be put to rest, for good.