Celtics Blog

Evan Turner Excels as Starting Point Guard in Win Over Kings

evan turner celtics kings.jpg
Evan Turner led the way for the Celtics in their New Year’s Eve win over the Kings, scoring 10 points with 11 assists and six rebounds. Elise Amendola/AP

BOSTON — The Celtics are undefeated when Evan Turner starts at point guard.

That statement looks a lot less impressive when you realize Boston has only played three games with Turner as their starting floor general, but it appears the fifth-year guard may have plenty of more chances to improve upon that record in the weeks to come.

Turner posted 10 points, six rebounds and a career-high 11 assists while starting at point in place of rookie Marcus Smart, setting the tone for a 106-84 rout of the Sacramento Kings.

Turner’s playmaking ability helped the Celtics get off to strong early start and allowed Smart to return to the second unit, where he joined veteran point guard Jameer Nelson. After a few subpar recent outings, Smart (11 points, six rebounds) also excelled in 28 minutes.

“I thought they both played well,” Brad Stevens said after the game. “That’s a plus-plus for today. So we’ll see moving forward how that plays itself out. I said this yesterday, I thought Marcus played well with Jameer (Nelson) and it kind of showed it self true in a couple of runs there today.”

The Celtics’ offense thrived with both Turner and Nelson handling the brunt of the point guard duties, as the two players combined for 19 of the team’s 32 assists. The unselfish tone they set seemed to carry over to the rest of the roster.

“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things,” Stevens said of the high assist totals. “There were a couple plays in the early part of the game where we over-passed, but the ball was really moving and really whipping around and we have to play that way. We have to play unselfishly; we have to make the right play. And I’d rather over-pass than under-pass.”

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As the Celtics attempt to put together a consistent rotation together after the departure of Rajon Rondo, Turner appears to be the answer in the starting role…for now.

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