WALTHAM, Mass. — Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens came right out and said it Tuesday: the players he will call on to replace Rajon Rondo are not a very experienced bunch.
Top draft pick Marcus Smart will see a great deal of time at the position, as will Phil Pressey, who proved to be a solid fill-in for Rondo after going undrafted last season.
The third man in the point guard rotation, at least thus far in training camp, is a less obvious name: Evan Turner.
Turner, acquired in free agency over the summer after flaming out with the Indiana Pacers, has been told to learn all three perimeter positions with the Celtics despite spending the overwhelming majority of his NBA minutes at the 2 and 3.
The juggling act is a new experience for the 25-year-old, but one he said he’s not worried about.
“I mean, it’s training camp,” Turner said Tuesday. “I knew I was going to have to adjust and learn new things anyway. Once again, just learn on the fly and take it one step at a time, so I’m not really overwhelmed or anything. It’s my fifth year in the league, and I know in the end it’s all about making plays.”
Turner said his most difficult adjustments will involve a point guard’s mental responsibilities, such as recognizing defenses and play-calling.
Though he rarely ran the point during his time with the Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers, Turner said he grew up playing the position, and that it’s actually “something that (he’s) kind of more comfortable with, as opposed to being a catch-and-shoot guy.”
The last time Turner spent a full season at point guard came when he was a senior at Ohio State. He won the Wooden Award that year and went on to be the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. So, he at least has a successful track record.
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