Sixers Notes: Collins leaning toward Nocioni over Turner for playoff run

Posted: March 26, 2011

76ers Notes

MIAMI - Rookie Evan Turner has delivered occasional moments of genius and also months of mediocrity.

Turner is still a vital part of the 76ers' long-term plans; it's just that the 22-year-old might not be an essential element of this year's playoff picture.

Before Friday night's showdown with the Miami Heat - the Sixers' likely first-round playoff opponent - coach Doug Collins admitted he was leaning toward giving Turner's backup minutes to veteran forward Andres Nocioni.

Turner is averaging 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 23.3 minutes a game. He has played a total of 1,606 minutes and is shooting 41.8 percent from the floor and 27.5 percent from the three-point line. Nocioni's statistics, even though he has played only about half the time of Turner, are comparable: 6.2 points and 3.3 rebounds a game, shooting 43.0 percent from the floor and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Collins said he has discussed the decision with his coaching staff as well as with team president Rod Thorn and general manager Ed Stefanski.

"Evan has done a good job for us; we feel very good about that," Collins said. "We just sort of feel right now with Noc, he played very well for us early and he gives us another three-point shooter, spreader of the floor, gives us good size, and he's experienced. I'm just going to figure it out night-by-night."

After starting 16 games early in the season, the 31-year-old Nocioni fell out of the rotation about midway through the season.

"We sat down and we said, 'We have to go with the team that gives us the best chance right now,' " Collins said. "And right now, Noc needs to be in the mix."

Preview?

If the regular season ended today, the Sixers and Heat would play each other in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Sixers entered Friday night's game with a 37-34 record, good for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat entered with a 49-22 record, which would make them the third seed.

Matchups

The Sixers started the game with point guard Jrue Holiday guarding Mike Bibby, Jodie Meeks against Dwyane Wade, Andre Iguodala on LeBron James, Elton Brand guarding Chris Bosh, and Spencer Hawes against Erick Dampier.

- Kate Fagan

|
|
|
|
|