Newly-acquired Indiana Pacers Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen have arrived in Indianapolis and taken their physicals. They practiced with the team Sunday and Monday.
The next step for the duo is to play in a game, and that’s exactly what’s in the plans for Turner and Allen Tuesday night when the Indiana Pacers host the Los Angeles Lakers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Not only will it be the first time the former Philadelphia 76ers-turned-Indiana Pacers teammates will suit up in the blue and gold, it’ll take place in front of the home fans. I would expect a nice ovation and warm welcome for Turner and Allen, as they provide an upgrade from the other end of the deal in Danny Granger.
Granger played all nine of his NBA seasons with the Pacers before team president Larry Bird pulled the trigger on the deal, sending him to Philly with a future second-round draft pick in exchange for the younger and more athletic duo that is Turner and Allen.
Turner was taken second overall by Philadelphia in the 2010 draft out of Ohio State. He left after his junior season when he received the Naismith Award, given to the best college player in the country.
Later in the 2010 draft, Bird selected Paul George 10th overall and Lance Stephenson 40th. Both have blossomed into the core of the Indiana Pacers squad. George has emerged as one of the top ten players in the league and Stephenson leads the NBA in triple-doubles this season.
Indiana hopes Turner can add to those accomplishments from 2010 draftees.
Through 49 games for the 76ers, Turner was averaging a career-high 17.4 points to go with 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Those are outstanding numbers for any player in the league.
Add in the presence of Lavoy Allen (averages of 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds with Philly), and the Indiana Pacers are looking at solid additions to their bench rotation.
Indiana head coach Frank Vogel said Turner will immediately consume the minutes Granger was receiving — approximately 20-25 per game — beginning Tuesday.