Hot Take Marathon: Myles Turner Becomes Indiana's Best Player
Via Indianapolis Star
The Indiana Pacers went through a major retool this offseason. The team let go of key veterans to add more offense to the roster. These moves signaled that the Pacers were ready to put more faith and a heavier workload on guys such as Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. Now for overall team success and for the Pacers to reach their highest ceiling that still relies heavily on Victor Oladipo. Oladipo has been rehabbing and progressing nicely with his return likely coming in late December or early January.
But what should we expect from the Pacers before then? The emergence of Myles Turner.
Myles Turner is still just 23-years old and has shown progression in each of his first four years in the NBA. The biggest strides being on the defensive end of the court. Last season, Myles Turner averaged 2.7 blocks per game (199 blocks total) with an 8.4 BLK% not to mention career highs in defensive win shares & defensive +/-. No question Turner excels around the rim on defense but an underrated aspect of his defense is his work on the perimeter.
Now you don't want large amounts of this but Turner because of his lateral quickness and wingspan can guard outside of the paint better than most bigs. There's a real chance that Turner could raise his block total and blocks per game this year to a higher level. Regardless, Turner has solidified himself as a top three defensive center in the NBA.
An area Turner has been on the weaker side in is rebounding, banging bodies hasn't been his style thus far in the NBA. However, he had his first multi-game stretch of his career with several double-doubles last season and is coming off a recent a Team USA exhibition game where he grabbed 14 rebounds. Which leads directly into the next positive for Turner, players have a history of flourishing following their time with Team USA. Turner has the tools to be an all-around force in today's NBA and with him having a big role with Team USA his game will evolve further.
Okay, so by now you're like, "How's he the best player for Indiana already?"
It's because his offensive game finally comes full circle, he becomes an all-around player. Last season, we saw a further developed jumpshot that had Myles Turner finish with shooting splits of 49/39/77. Turner has shown in his time with Team USA and just the basic gym pickup game videos that his confidence shooting has grown further. A new element of his game looks to be the ability to pump fake a defender off his feet and drive in for a pull-up jumper. A lethal element to the game of a 7-footer who can shoot.
With this development and the plans for Sabonis to start alongside of him, Turner will likely be utilized as an offensive weapon from the perimeter. With his confidence growing now with Team USA and Oladipo out a couple months, it will be Turner's chance to take control of the offense.
Myles Turner adding a polished offensive game, getting more looks from three while being surrounded by more shooters will help him operate more freely. Add this offense to his elite defense you have the clear cut best player on the Indiana Pacers. I believe not only will Turner become the Pacers best player, he will make his first All-Star game, be named Most Improved Player, and earn an All-Defensive Team Selection. What does that statline look like? Something of 19 points per game, eight rebounds per game, two assists per game, three blocks per game on shooting splits of 49/41/77.
Myles Turner showed the league his defense last year, this year he will show the full package.