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Myles Turner looking forward to a LeBron-less Eastern Conference

Myles Turner, LeBron James

Since being drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 2015 with the 11th overall pick, Myles Turner has been a force to be reckoned with. However, despite continuous improvements to his game, the 6-foot-11 big man and the Pacers have yet to become a legitimate contender in the East. This is in large part due to one man — LeBron James.

This is exactly why Turner is understandably excited about the prospect of a LeBron-less East this upcoming season.

“The East is open,” Turner tells Drew Davison of Star-Telegram. “…Guys see an opportunity and everybody is going to try and seize it.

Over the past two seasons, Turner and the Pacers have fell victim to LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2017, the Cavs made quick work of Indiana by sweeping them in the first round.  This last season’s first round matchup was much more competitive, but the LeBron and co. still ended up victorious after a tightly-contested 7-game series.

The departure of James from the Eastern Conference definitely opens up opportunities for teams such as the Pacers. They intend to pounce on this chance, and have wasted no time in bolstering their squad via free agency with the likes of Tyreke Evans, Kyle O’Quinn, and Doug McDermott.

“It’s going to be competitive. We’ve got a lot of good acquisitions in the off-season — our bench got stronger and we have high hopes for ourselves,” adds Turner.

For his part, Turner will look to bounce back from a mediocre sophomore campaign that turned out to be more disappointing than promising.