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Pacers’ Victor Oladipo says Myles Turner was ‘robbed’ of an All-Defensive Team spot

Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner, Pacers

Victor Oladipo, who is expected to return around December from a torn quad suffered in the middle of the 2018-19 season, is hopeful his Indiana Pacers will have a special season ahead, but that hasn’t stopped him from feeling his teammate Myles Turner was “robbed” of an All-Defensive Team spot.

“We can be very special,” Oladipo told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “It’s up to us how special we can be. Domantas got so much better, and Myles was robbed by being left off the [NBA] All-Defensive team. It’s crazy to me a guy who led the league in blocks shots doesn’t get chosen.”

Turner led the league in blocked shots per game with an average of 2.69 per contest — yet it’s likely the media deciding were prisoners of the optics, as the Pacers don’t have as much of the spotlight throughout the course of the NBA season.

Another theory is Turner’s lackluster rebounding for a player at the center spot, as his 7.2 boards per game ranked a mere 23rd of the 39 centers qualified.

Defending is a lot more than getting swats at the rim, but also limiting buckets in different ways. The league and the media are starting to notice proximity and how closely-contested shots are, a stat ranking the fine people at FiveThirtyEight have acronymed D.R.A.Y.M.O.N.D. to account for more than just the measurables of rejections and steals, but also account for a player’s individual prowess as a one-on-one and help side defender.

At 23 years old, Turner can only get better from here — and it’s likely that the All-Defensive Team snub will only light a fire on him to make his inclusion undeniable next time around.