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Myles Turner praises Pacers rookie Goga Bitadze’s knowledge for the game

Pacers, Myles Turner, Goga Bitadze

The Indiana Pacers raved about the type of player that they got with the 18th overall pick almost as soon as the 2019 NBA Draft concluded. Myles Turner is already seeing why, given his recent praise for rookie Goga Bitadze.

When Turner entered the NBA, he was a 19-year-old that spent one season at the University of Texas. Turner believes that Bitadze “knows the game better” than he did at this stage of his career.

“I think he knows the game better than I did,” Turner said, per Mark Montieth of Pacers.com. “When I came into the league I didn’t really know how to rotate on defense, I didn’t really know NBA sets, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I could score. That was my saving grace; I could shoot the ball. With him, he can do a little bit of everything. He knows the game a lot better than I did at that age.”

While Turner has seen strong flashes of potential from Bitadze during practices, he understands that it will be difficult for him to hit the ground running without much NBA experience. Bitadze is making his debut on Tuesday after he missed the Pacers’ first three preseason games. The Georgian center was also not able to play in the summer league.

“It’s tough,” Turner said. “He’s not going to have that real experience. It’s tough to have your real experience come in an actual NBA game, not a preseason game. Hopefully he’ll be able to get out there (Tuesday).”

“In practices he shows that he’s capable, but he’s got to play in NBA games to get that real experience.”

It will likely take Bitadze time to adjust like any rookie despite having previous professional basketball experience. However, it’s important that he is at least somewhat consistent for the Pacers given how he will be serving as their backup center.