To say Indiana Pacer Myles Turner had a breakout defensive season might be a bit of an understatement. Along with seeing his scoring and rebounding numbers bounce back up after an injury plagued 2017-2018 season, Turner posted an incredible 2.7 blocks per game and led the league in blocks on the season.
Always a talented rim protector, Turner came into his own this year and has shown significant improvement to his already impeccable timing when going up for blocks. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Turner is actually tied for a career low in personal fouls, despite going up and contesting shots on a more frequent basis.
Turner’s has shown to be an invaluable defensive anchor for the Pacers and is crucial to their ability to force teams into the low-scoring situations where the Pacers thrive. In fact, Turner has been so good down low for the Pacers that he outpaced an entire team in the block category.
Pacers’ Myles Turner Had More Blocks in 2019 Than The Entire Cleveland Cavaliers Roster
Although the news is (obviously) a few days old, this is just your friendly reminder that Myles Turner is better at blocking basketball than every single player to suit up for the Cavs this year – combined. Turner clocked in with an astounding 199 blocks on the season, by far leading the league. Shockingly those 199 blocks were good enough to beat out the Cavaliers team total of 195.
While Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson both missed significant time, the achievement is incredibly impressive nonetheless. Given that Love and Thompson aren’t necessarily known rim protectors, it might have even been possible if Love and Thompson had suited up the entire year.
Still only 22 years old, Myles Turner has an incredibly bright future in front of him as a defensive savant. With a raw, but promising, offensive skill set to go alongside his defensive chops, it isn’t unrealistic to think that Turner could one day develop into an incredibly dangerous two-way force.
What Can Myles Turner Do To Save The Pacers?
At this point, the Pacers desperately need Myles Turner to consistently showcase the flashes of offensive brilliance he has shown at times in his career. Leading scorer Victor Oladipo is down with a gruesome injury for the season and while Bojan Bogdanovic has filled in admirably, there isn’t much firepower behind him. Sabonis usually provides a nice punch off the bench but the Pacers need Turner to step up and consistently produce in the starting lineup alongside Bogdanovic.
Turner doesn’t necessarily need to get the ball more but he does need to put it in the hoop at a more efficient clip. Often times Turner will get a bit reckless when attacking the basket and force up an ugly shot. He has shown the ability to be patient and utilize solid post moves along with the ability to step back and knock down a three, so it isn’t a matter of IF he can do it, but more a matter of will he do it.
Turner is still young, and young big men take much longer to develop compared to guards so it makes sense that at 22 he hasn’t yet reached his fullest potential. That said, given the playoff circumstances, the Pacers will need to ask a lot out of their young big man and he has the opportunity to make a playoff name for himself early in his career should he be up to answering the call.