Porzingis Wasn't the Only Steal of the Draft
*Photo via AP
If there’s one thing that can be said about Larry Bird, it’s that he knows how to draft. From selecting Paul George in the 2010 NBA draft with the 10th pick, to again this year with the selections of Myles Turner and Joe Young. We only saw glimpses of Turner at the start of the season as he went down with a thumb injury in Mid-November. However, since his return and now injection into the starting lineup, we’ve seen just what Turner is already able to do in his rookie season.
Since becoming a starter in particular, Turner has become the third scoring option on the Pacers behind Paul George and Monta Ellis. He’s averaging 14.3 points per game, 6.8 rebounds and is blocking 1.9 shots per game. As a matter of fact the only person with more blocks per game since January 17th is Miami center Hassan Whiteside. Turner is excellent around the basket both offensively and defensively; the one knock on Turner early is his overall defense. Yes, he is excellent at shot blocking, however poor defensive rotations and bad foul decisions have been the one issue so far. Now he’s only 20 and seeing how quickly he has already progressed in the league, his basketball IQ is bound to grow further fixing these early defensive struggles.
Turner has been a blessing in disguise as well, in the new style of stretch fours, Turner is above average athletically and he’s able to consistently hit jumpers and although he hasn’t stretched out to the 3-point line often this year. The hope and plan is that as he progresses that shot will come as well. In many aspects when I look at Myles Turner, I see a player much like Chris Bosh. Tall, lanky, aggressive, decent rebounder, solid defender and can score from a variety of places on the court. Now, I’m not saying Turner will be as successful as Bosh, but he has a bright future ahead of him, and Larry Bird saw it before many of us even knew who Myles Turner was. Larry Legend strikes again.