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Pacers’ Nate McMillan sees similarities between Myles Turner, Goga Bitadze

Pacers, Myles Turner, Goga Bitadze, Nate McMillan

The Indiana Pacers were ecstatic when they were on the clock with the 18th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and saw that Goga Bitadze was still on the board. Now, head coach Nate McMillan is already seeing similarities between the rookie and the team’s starting center Myles Turner.

The main similarities that McMillan has seen between Bitadze and Turner include their respective abilities to play out on the perimeter on offense and to defend the basket. McMillan also emphasized the comfort level that Bitadze has as an offensive player in the paint when mentioning the differences between the two players.

“They’re similar,” McMillan said, via the team’s official website. “Goga seems to be comfortable playing in the paint. Myles has always been a perimeter guy. Goga can play in the paint, can play on the perimeter. They’re different in the skills they have. Both of them defend the basket.”

That comment from McMillan is high praise for Bitadze considering how Turner is the NBA’s reigning leader in blocked shots and how he converted on 38.8 percent from beyond the arc last season. The combination of perimeter shooting and interior defense has earned Turner the highly sought after ‘unicorn’ label.

It would influence the Pacers’ ceiling as a team if Bitadze is able to hit the ground running in his development as an NBA player. However, it is expected that it will take the 20-year-old some time to adapt to the next level. He was unable to play in the Las Vegas Summer League and won’t make his preseason debut until the Pacers play their preseason finale against the Minnesota Timberwolves.