Evan Turner had one of his most productive seasons of his career in 2015-16 by focusing on his strong-suits: play-making, rebounding and (*gasp*)…shooting from the mid-range.
In an interview with Complex, the jovial free-agent to-be seemed very comfortable being labelled as a ‘mid-range player,’ despite the inevitable corollary of being considered an ‘inefficient player.’
That’s because an efficient shot is relative to a shooter’s strengths.
Turner is a prime example—he shot a career-best 45.6 percent while attempting a career-high 73.7 percent of his shots within 16 feet of the hoop this past season. Check out Turner’s heat map, courtesy of Basketball-Reference:
While the game inevitably has been trending toward more and more three-point shots, Turner thinks the stigma surrounding the mid-range game will eventually relax.
After all, plenty of all-time greats were not perimeter-oriented players—Michael Jordan, Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade to name a few.
“People say, ‘You can’t shoot the three.’ But I can defend, I can pass, rebound, score. You got guys that all they can do is shoot and nothing else. Like, how a– backwards is that? Only in America can you be a lacrosse player and judge basketball. Or you’ve never played basketball and say, ‘Yeah, I was working on the stock market—[stuff] wasn’t working so now I’m in the NBA judging talent.’ [The media] can write stuff on something they have no clue about.
“The future is in the mid-range. The mid-range is where the money’s at, man. I think the three-point shot opens up the court and everything like that, but MJ and all those great players made all of their money out of the mid-range. So I’m not sorry for that at all. Evan M. Turner. For sure, ‘M’ stands for mid-range. Anywhere within 15 feet is cash. I’ll try to get better at threes, but that’s my game.”