Celtics

Can Turner win NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award?

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Can Turner win NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award?

BOSTON - You could look at the stat sheet and see that Evan Turner averages 10.1 points per game and then wonder why he'd be up for discussion for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award.

But that would mean you haven't watched him play.

No, Turner isn't a volume scorer off the bench like a handful of others around the NBA. He does more than just score. Take into consideration that the 6-foot-7 versatile guard/forward also averages 4.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, too.

And it doesn't end there.

Turner leads the NBA in most games off the bench with 10-plus points, five-plus rebounds, and five-plus assists - he's got 10 of them. He also leads the NBA in assists coming off the bench with 277.

And if you don't think a good game by Turner equals a good game by the Celtics, think again. The C's are 26-3 when he has a positive +/-, including 22-0 when he's a plus-four or better.

Not bad.

So can he win the award, or will it go to a player who simply scores more?

“I guess that’s who typically gets the award, right?" the always-entertaining Turner said when asked if scorers usually get the award. "I guess so. If I did get it. I don’t see what the knock is about getting damn near five assists a game. That’s kind of crazy, don’t you think? Or like rebounds, and then you’ve damn near got a triple-double, you perform down in crunch-time. That [stuff's] crazy, ain’t it?

"No for sure, it’s for high-scoring guys off the bench. Or always, typically. Like my dude Lou-Will (Lou Williams), he scored great last year. Isaiah [Thomas] was just in tune with that. Along those lines, Jamal Crawford won it twice. It would be cool definitely but I’m just rocking out. I rock out. I think if you win and things like that, it definitely helps out too. Along with a unit’s success, you get individual notice as well.”

For the record, Turner can score when called upon to do so. He had 21 points a week ago against the Knicks.

There's no doubt that the Celtics success has a lot to do with Turner, and it's the reason he should be considered one of the finalists for Sixth Man of the Year.

Still not convinced?

Brad Stevens trusts Turner late in games maybe more than anybody, which is why despite the fact he doesn't start, he's fourth in the NBA in fourth-quarter minutes with 591.

He's also third in the NBA in fourth-quarter assists with 107, behind NBA assists leader Rajon Rondo and starting point guard John Wall.

The one knock on Turner? His three-point shot (though he's 3-for-5 since the All-Star Break). But he's been able to be plenty effective despite shooting just 18-percent from the three-point line.

“Just trying to win, trying to focus on that basically," Turner said. "Trying to limit the most distractions, stay healthy, get ready for this playoff push. Regardless of how I play, I play how I always play. I take the shots the defense gives me. Try not to turn the ball over. Hit my free throws, play defense. Hit a three every two months.”

WATCH: Kyrie Irving shows off some vintage moves in All-Star Game

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USA TODAY Sports Images

WATCH: Kyrie Irving shows off some vintage moves in All-Star Game

Kyre Irving flirted with a triple-double (13 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) as a starter for Team LeBron in Sunday night's All-Star Game in Charlotte, as LeBron's team came back to beat Team Giannis 178-164 to close out the weekend's festivities.

Irving, who was held out of the Celtics' last two games before the All-Star break with knee concerns, didn't appear to look too bothered as he glided up and down the Spectrum Center floor.

There was this crafty up-and-under on the Nuggets' Nikola Jokic:

And when Team LeBron pulled ahead late, Irving lobbed one up for his former Cavaliers teammate in an alley-oop that recalled finer days in Cleveland:

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