Evan Turner is having a rough Summer League

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Thumbnail image for Eturner_summer.jpgWelcome to the NBA, Evan Turner.

Well, not even the NBA. Summer League, which is a  few steps below the NBA in terms of quality of play. But it has still flummoxed the No. 2 pick so far. I watched two games and he has had moments of quality play but mostly has struggled. He’s averaging 9.6 points per game but needs 7.3 shots a game to get them. More than that, he has looked tentative and lost at times.

Even he’ll admit that, as he did to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Horrible,” Turner said. “It’s not what I expected of myself. I’m not proud of the way I’ve played. But I’m glad for the experience….”

“You just have to play through it,” Turner said. “Sometimes you have to take the bumps and play through that frustration and get on to the next play. It’s a little whirlwind getting acclimated to new surroundings, a new system and everything. It’s a lot quicker. You can’t do certain things you could do in college. You have to make your moves much quicker.”

The big question: Are these struggles a sign of things to come?

Turner has looked good in open court situations, something Sebastian Pruiti broke down at NBA Playbook. The Sixers want to run more this year and they have tried to instill a little of that at Summer League, and when Turner is handling the ball in the open court he has made smart moves. He and Jrue Holliday have had some quality plays together.

But in the half court, Evans has looked slow and unable to create space to get off his own shot. He has overdribbled. Combined that has led to some poor shot selection. It has not been pretty.

The question becomes, is his being tentative the reason he looks slow, or his he just not that fast off the dribble? Defenders will only get better this fall, rotations will be a lot sharper, it will be harder to get off shots. Will Turner be more comfortable and able to get to his spots the way he did at Ohio State. Or are things only going to get worse.

Last season in the Vegas Summer League, Stephen Curry struggled. He was one of those guys that took a while to adjust to the NBA game. But by the end of last season he was getting talked about as a p

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: