Myles Turner’s blocks aren’t superficial defense for the Indiana Pacers

When Myles Turner blocks shots they aren’t just highlight plays, they often transition into offense for the Indiana Pacers.

When Myles Turner blocks a shot, it’s another reminder of why he is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA and a cornerstone of the Indiana Pacers defense. His 2.7 blocks a game are leading the league this season.

But blocks aren’t always a perfect indicator of defense. If a player is chasing them, they can leave the defense exposed. If they wildly swat the ball, it might just end up out-of-bounds and back in the hands of the opponent.

That isn’t the case with Turner, however. He doesn’t just slap the ball around. It’s more redirecting the ball than merely swatting it. He creates turnovers for Indiana.

When Turner blocks a shot, the Pacers recover 67.59 percent of them according to PBPstats.com’s data. That means 94 of his 145 blocks are turnovers in favor of Indiana.

Compare that to the other blocks leaders, and you see Turner is one of the best at not just blocks, but creating offensive chances for his team.

Anthony Davis blocks 2.5 shots a game, but the New Orleans Pelicans only pick back up 58.77 percent of them. The Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert blocks 2.1 a game and his team grab 63.64 percent of the loose balls. The New York Knicks wrangle 62.92 percent of Mitchell Robinson‘s 2.1 blocks and to round out the top five, you see Hassan Whiteside‘s 2.1 blocks are picked up by the Miami Heat 67.29 percent of the time.

While some come close, no one is blocking as many shots as Turner and turning them into offense for their team at the same rate. When a player blocks a shot, it’s valuable as it erases a shot attempt, but if the ball simply ends up back in the hands of the opponent, it’s only helping so much.

In the Pacers’ case, those blocks are more than just helpful, they’ve turned many of those into points. In fact, PBPstats says over half of those 94 blocks Indiana recovered became points for Indiana on the other end, a product of an offense that is third in the NBA in turning turnovers into points.

Even if Indiana doesn’t turn a Turner block into points, we can enjoy the fact some of them — like his block of Marvin Williams — are absolutely demoralizing.

Next: The Masked Myles Turner era is coming to an end

Whether Myles Turner’s defense is enough to earn him a Defensive Player of the Year award is up for debate — former Pacer Paul George has a strong case — but it’s hard to look at the stats and see Turner is already one of the NBA’s elite defenders at the center position.

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