Evan Turner on Wednesday tried out his third apparatus to protect his right hand, and the Trail Blazers guard said he is encouraged that the new approach will allow him to move past the frustration of playing with a protective device on his ball-dominant hand.
Turner, who is 4-for-21 in the three games since returning from a broken hand, has balked at the clumsiness and limitations the previous protective devices have caused, at one point ripping off his glove during the second quarter of Tuesday’s loss against Milwaukee.
“We had a different pad, where it doesn’t cover the palm,’’ Turner said Wednesday after trying out the new apparatus during a 45-minute workout in practice. “I played some pick up and I thought I shot it well. The three-point shot is going to look how it is going to look, but the mid-range was world class.’’
Turner said the latest protection is not as bulky and therefore not as restrictive as the previous two, which limited his grip.
He said during the Milwaukee game a couple of his passes were late, or behind teammates, because the padding prevented him from getting the ball out of his hands when he wanted.
“The palm was free today and I felt fine, and got pretty good rhythm offensively,’’ Turner said.
Turner was playing his best basketball of the season when he broke the third metacarpal on his right hand after he got tangled with Harrison Barnes during the third quarter of a Feb. 7 game at Dallas. He had started the previous nine games, during which the Blazers went 5-4, and was largely responsible for an uptick in the Blazers’ defense while he took on the responsibility of guarding the opponent’s top backcourt player.
Since returning, he has come off the bench and has struggled, looking out of rhythm and generally rusty. He admitted part of his struggles have been mentally because he doesn’t want to play with anything on his hand.
“(Expletive) is annoying,’’ Turner said. “I don’t really get upset but it’s gotten to the point where I’m getting ready to throw a hissy fit. Last night was really tough not to do that. It’s just irritating – or was irritating – so I’m glad we were able to speed up the process and do what needs to be done.’’
Turner said he has been told by the Blazers' that the bone is 70 percent healed and he might have to wear protection on his hand for up to 10 weeks, which he can't imagine.
"Hopefully we can stop worrying about it relatively soon and call it a day,'' Turner said.
Next up: New York at Blazers, 7 p.m. Thursday (KGW).