Evan Turner turns to shooting coach for assistance
Frustrated with his shot and playing far less minutes with the Pacers, Evan Turner hired a shooting coach. Turner recently brought in Mike Penberthy — who coincidentally once tried out for the Pacers in 1997 but suffered an injury — for about five one-hour sessions.
“I saw him in Dallas working with (a Mavericks player) and I was telling him that I wanted to get some reps and rhythm with him,” said Turner. “I got a lot more time (now). In Philly, I was kind of always dead a little bit because I was playing 40 minutes a night. Now, I have more energy because of the change in system and stuff.”
The biggest thing they worked on: hand placement.
“That’s what I struggle with the most,” he said candidly. “Just making it one motion.”
Turner said he has worked with Penberthy in the past but he hadn’t had the same time available as he does now. He first was introduced by former 76ers forward Andre Iguodala, who recommended Penberthy’s services.
Looking to take his game to another level, Pacers swingman Paul George sought out Penberthy last summer and the two worked out in Los Angeles. George had sessions with him roughly two or three times a week for most of the summer.
“He helped me shoot the same shot everywhere on the floor,” George said in November. “He got me right.”
Turner’s minutes have gone way down with the Pacers, and so, too, has his production. After averaging 17 points (on 43 percent shooting), six rebounds, and almost four assists in 54 games with the 76ers, the fourth-year guard has averaged 6.6 points, three rebounds, and two assists in 23 games on the Pacers roster. Worst of all, he’s shooting a career-low 39.4 percent.
That is why Penberthy was brought in.
“I’ve always been decent off the dribble but I’ve never been great like catch and shoot,” he said. “So it’s more about timing and stuff like that.”
While on the floor for about 20 minutes per game, it’s critical for the Pacers that Turner is efficient in his time and he positively impacts the game.