The Indiana Pacers have had a big offseason, bringing in names like Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, and TJ Warren. While those guys were big pickups, a lot of fans are forgetting about the team improving due to the young players developing. Even more forget that Myles Turner still fits into that “young player” category.
Despite being in the league for four seasons now and already having a new long-term contract, Turner is just 23 years old. He has received a lot of harsh criticism from the Indiana fan base, but that criticism is not deserved in any way, shape, or form.
Last season with the Pacers, Turner was one of the top defensive big men in the entire NBA. The league did not reward him for being such, but the facts cannot be changed.
Turner ended up averaging 13.3 points per game to go along with 7.2 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, and 1.6 assists. He shot 48.7 percent from the field overall and knocked down 38.8 percent from the three-point line. Those numbers show a lot of development and improvement from the two-way big man.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at the three ways Turner must improve this offseason for the Pacers.
3. Become More Aggressive Offensively
One of the biggest keys for Turner this offseason will be becoming more aggressive on the offensive side of the court. He has the game, now he just needs to get the mental side of things down.
There have been quite a few situations where Turner had open looks but passed them up. He has to find the balance between being a team player and knowing that he has to be a top scoring option. If he can improve his per game average to around 15.5 or 16 points, the Pacers’ offense is going to be much more dangerous.
2. Improve as a Passer
Granted, this isn’t the most important skill for a big man to have, but it would add another dangerous aspect of Turner’s game if he can. He is a willing passer, but could use some work on his passing ability. Take a look at Domantas Sabonis and how well he can pass for a 6-foot-11 body.
Turner is improving his offensive game and can step out and knock down the three. He can even put the basketball on the floor and make plays that way at times. Becoming a better passer and creator for his teammates would force defenses to make even more difficult decisions while guarding him.
1. Rebounding Will Be a Major Key
Finally, rebounding is going to be a major key for the Pacers moving forward. Turner will have the luxury of playing alongside a tenacious rebounder in Sabonis in the starting lineup this season. That will help, but the Pacers need their center to become a better rebounder himself.
Sabonis is a walking double-double on a daily basis. Turner needs to get to that point. Indiana would have one of the top front-court duos in the NBA on the glass if Turner could improve to a serious double-double threat each and every night.