Nate McMillan plans on having Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis as Pacers’ starting frontcourt
Head coach Nate McMillan confirmed that is the plan despite the Turner and Sabonis playing the same position.
Nate McMillan makes it official. The plan is to start the season with Turner and sabonis starting together.
— Mark Montieth (@MarkMontieth) July 7, 2019
Last season, Sabonis came off the bench for the Pacers and had a great run with the second unit. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 74 regular season games for Indiana. One can argue that Sabonis had a better showing than starting center Turner, who averaged 13.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists.
Sabonis also shot the ball better at 59 percent as opposed to Turner’s 48 percent clip. But the latter’s strength, however, lies on his defense, as he was one of the league’s best shot blockers last season with close to three rejections per game.
If McMillan is really serious about starting both Turner and Sabonis, then the Pacers will have an effective two-way frontcourt. Both guys can obviously score from inside the paint, and they have the ability to protect the rim at an elite level as well. Indiana will also have an answer to the Philadelphia 76ers’ projected starting frontcourt of Joel Embiid and Al Horford.
Now, as good as it looks on paper, the Pacers’ plan might backfire against them. Turner and Sabonis are both great players, but they might also slow the team down, especially in transition. Moreover, they will need to look for someone who will take Sabonis’ role as the team’s primary sixth man.
If the Pacers can make this work, then expect them to remain as one of the best teams in the East, especially when Victor Oladipo returns.