- CLUTCH Summary: Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner is coming off a tremendous season.
- Despite injuries, and thanks to guys like Turner, the Pacers still had themselves a tremendous 2018-19 NBA season.
- With the upcoming season looming, there’s good reason to believe the Indiana Pacers and Myles Turner are just started to hit their peaks.
Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner just had a great 2018-19 campaign. He averaged 13.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks. He was one of the main reasons why the team was still able to finish with the fifth-best record in the East, and although they lost in the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season, there is no doubt that Turner is one of the Pacers’ core players. The type they hope could lead them a championship in the future.
Turner is expected to play an even bigger role next season, as the Pacers look to employ a big defensive line-up with him and Domantas Sabonis. With Victor Oladipo returning from injury, it’s unclear if this plan by Indiana will suit them well, but one thing is for sure: If it works, they will be one of the best teams in the East once again.
With Bogdan Bogdanovic going to the Utah Jazz, Turner could be the team’s secondary option on offense. He’s already a defensive behemoth and giving him more responsibility on offense could make him an even more dangerous player.
So let’s take a look at some of Turner’s best games from last season.
December 10 vs. Washington Wizards
The Pacers were one of the best teams in the league for the month of December. They had a 12-3 record, which was highlighted by their seven-game winning streak. It was also one of Turner’s best months, as he put up a double-double in eight of the team’s 15 games.
Their first game against the Washington Wizards in this month saw Myles Turner dominate on both ends of the floor. In 39 minutes of action, he finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks. He shot 68 percent from the field and made two 3-pointers. Overall, he was a +39 on the field.
The Pacers took a 109-101 win and improved to 17-10.
March 7 vs. Milwaukee Bucks
If December was the Pacers’ best month from last season, March was definitely their worst. It was the only month in which they had a losing record (4-10), but at this point, they were already assured of a playoff spot. Still, facing the team with the best record in the league showed Indiana that they’re still far from being a legitimate championship contender.
Turner dominated the game, finishing with 22 points, a massive 17 rebounds, and three blocks. The Pacers center was a +33 for the game. Unfortunately, the Pacers were routed by the Bucks 117-98.
But if there’s one thing that we’ve learned from this game, it’s the fact that Myles Turner can really dominate on both ends of the floor, even against a really good team like Milwaukee.
December 31 vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Pacers ended 2018 with a win, beating the Atlanta Hawks 116-108 for their 25th win of the season. It was also their second victory against the Hawks in this month.
Turner finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four blocks. But what’s more impressive is the fact that he put those numbers up in just 23 minutes of action. He shot 77 percent from the field (7-9), including three 3-pointers. Plus he only had one turnover.
He clearly wanted to carry a great wave of momentum in 2019, and this performance in the Pacers’ year-ender was a great way to do it.
March 18 vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Turner was doing everything he could to give the Pacers as many wins as possible in the final stretch of the season. They faced a Blazers team that was also trying to position for homecourt advantage in the West didn’t help them at all.
Indy’s big man scored a season-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, but the Pacers lost the game 106-98. Again, one of those games where Turner dominates on offense but fails to deliver a win. He had no blocks in this game but was still a +29.
Myles Turner is entering his fifth season in the league, and it’s usually at this point where players reach begin to reach their primse. If he can take his game to another level next season, the Pacers will be a really, really good team. Imagine him forming rivalries with the likes of Joel Embiid, Andre Drummond, and Draymond Green.
Again, he has the potential to be a great two-way player. He just needs to be more consistent. That’s arguably the key to him becoming an All-Star in the future.