Sixers Notes: Sixers' Evan Turner is tabbed for all-star event

Posted: February 09, 2012

Evan Turner was named Wednesday to play in the Rising Stars Challenge game, which replaces the old rookies-vs.-sophomores game during all-star weekend later this month in Orlando, Fla.

Turner did not play in last year's game even though he was the No. 2 pick in the draft. He is playing much better in his second season, making it much easier for the assistant coaches who select the 18 players to add the Sixer to the game.

"The format will be fun. I just want to make sure that we win," Turner said. "I'm looking forward to participating." The new format will pit pick-up teams that include both rookies and second-year players.

Turner has appeared in all but one game this season. He is coming off the bench averaging 9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in just under 26 minutes per game. He is the only player in the league playing fewer than 26 minutes who is averaging at least nine points, five rebounds, and two assists per game.

The former Ohio State Buckeye said he was going to use the time off during the all-star break to go back to Columbus, Ohio, or to his hometown of Chicago.

He's happy to be going to Orlando, but before Wednesday's game with San Antonio he was focused on the Sixers and their forthcoming games. After Wednesday's game against the Spurs, they will host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday and then embark on a three-game trip to Cleveland, Charlotte, and Orlando, beginning Saturday.

"I'm not going to think about it too much because we've got some business in front of us," Turner said of the all-star honor. I'll give it a little bit more thought later."

Sixers coach Doug Collins said he was glad about Turner's selection.

"It's fantastic for him," Collins said. "He has worked so hard in the off-season. Evan has given up a lot of himself and his game to be a guy like Lou [Williams] and Thad [Young], to come off the bench for us. His numbers are not going to be earth-shattering, but he's playing a vital part on a winning team. For him to be recognized is very good for him and great for the organization. It just reaffirms my belief about winning teams and the recognition that goes with that."

TV ratings

Sixers game telecasts and pre- and postgame shows on Comcast SportsNet are averaging double-digit increases in ratings over last season. Monday's win over the Los Angeles Lakers was the most-watched Sixers game on the network since March 1, 2005. Ratings for Sixers games on Comcast SportsNet are up 77 percent over last season's average.


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