Myles Turner’s Top Ten Blocks in the 2018-19 Season

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 31: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers blocks the shot by Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Orlando Magic during the game on January 31, 2019 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 31: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers blocks the shot by Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Orlando Magic during the game on January 31, 2019 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Myles Turner led the NBA in blocks, but here are the 10 best of them from the Indiana Pacers season.

Myles Turner has earned the reputation of being one of the best rim protectors in the game. His defense remains one of the most important facets for one of the league’s best defensive squads.

The Pacers 23-year-old center is coming off of his most productive defensive season to date, and in the running for defensive player of the year. He accumulated 199 blocked shots in just 74 games played; this 2.7 blocks per game rate led the association. Turner had more blocks than the entire Cleveland Cavaliers team.

His presence around the basket shouldn’t be taken lightly by opposing players seeking to drive into the paint, but in many cases it was and this left us with some incredible highlights that showcase the 6’11 center’s defensive prowess and verticality.

Let’s go ahead and take a look back at some of the nastiest rejections Turner was able to hand out.

No. 10 Justice Winslow x2

I know, I know – cheating on the first one. But both of these clips highlight Myles’ ability to get to the ball on defense! There aren’t many centers in the league who can cover as much ground as quickly as the Pacers young shot-blocking machine.

When the Pacers center noticed Winslow driving past Thaddeus Young, he was able to take advantage of the lack of perimeter-shooting by Whiteside and switch into help defense. After getting around Young, Winslow likely thought he had an opportunity for two easy points… until Turner came from his blind-side and recycled the layup. I love this example of Turner’s perimeter quickness.

After coming around the screen, Winslow had the separation from Cory and Bojan to make a beeline for the rim. Upon realizing Turner’s presence between the ball and the hoop, the Miami forward attempted to switch the ball between his hands so he could finish the shot. One hand, both hands, ten hands – it doesn’t matter, the Pacers big man is going to find the ball and do everything to get his own paws on it.

No. 9 De’Aaron Fox

Here’s another example of Turner’s awareness on the defensive side of the ball. After a miscommunication with Bojan, the Pacers center sees Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox cross-up teammate Darren Collison. Once Fox is parallel to his defender, Turner collapses back toward the rim and what the Kings thought would be an easy bucket ended up being pinned off the glass.

No. 8 Royce O’Neale

On this play, you’ll see Bogdanovic encouraging O’Neale to drive toward the baseline. After taking the opportunity, O’Neale uses his physicality, along with Bojan’s momentum, to clear out space for an easy lay-in. Fortunately for the Pacers, Turner floated off his man and squashed any space between the ball and the basket. Unfortunately for the Jazz, Turner was in the air when the shot was released and had no chance at landing anywhere near the rim.

No. 7 Marquese Chriss

After a reach from Thaddeus Young, Chriss is able to drive around him straight for the hoop. The Cavaliers forward thought he was going to end up on a highlight reel until the Pacers rim defender went vertical to introduce himself.

No. 6 The Chicago Bulls

Clearly the Bulls being the closest NBA team in proximity to Bankers Life Fieldhouse is an advantage for Turner, because he was able to hear their footsteps all season. Turner amassed 18 blocked shots against Chicago in four games this season — including a game where he didn’t reject a single defender.

Turner made his presence in the paint pretty clear that chilly night in early December. It only took one second of a ball-handler losing track of the Pacers rim protector before they suffered a shot to their confidence and missed field goal in the box score. Turner’s final block, against Bulls sophomore Lauri Markkanen, showcased his athleticism and lateral quickness. There aren’t many centers that can recover so quickly after a double-team on the primary ball-handler. Instead of a wide open three that the Bulls young forward may have had in that scenario against other teams, Turner was able to tip theball and earn the Pacers a possession in the fourth quarter of a close game.

No. 5 Terrence Ross

This block came in a crunch-time moment, as the Pacers were down three possessions with a minute to go. After a defensive breakdown on a loose ball, the Orlando wing drives past Thad Young and thinks he just has to beat Bogdanovic to the basket. Unfortunately for Ross, Turner was lurking just outside of the paint and didn’t hesitate to jump into his path like a brick wall.

No. 4 Antonio Blakeney

In a crunch-time moment, when the Pacers couldn’t get an offensive rebound if their lives depended on it, Turner saved the day. He had recorded five swatted shots already, but the Pacers young center was hungry for some smothered chicken. After faking Bogdanovic with the juke, it appeared the Bulls guard was going to have a solid look at a buzzer-beating three to win the game. Then Turner went airborne and literally engulfed the shot like a blanket – without fouling! I can’t think of a more obvious example to show how game-changing Myles Turner’s defensive presence is.

No. 3 Bradley Beal x2

Two separate times that night, Wizards star Bradley Beal thought it would be a good idea to make a bee-line straight to the basket for a high percentage shot. With Beal’s speed and athleticism, it typically is a good attempt. But the Pacers essentially have a giant octopus chilling around the painted area and the rim is a chest of gold coins and jewels. Or Turner is a leviathan and the basket is the hidden city of Atlantis… you get the idea.

No. 2 Kyle Kuzma

Myles Turner can’t even.

Judging by the Pacers center’s body language, he was in disbelief that second year Lakers forward, Kyle Kuzma, would even attempt something so weak. Turner was undoubtedly known as a great rim protector, but he’d never had the chance to demonstrate on Kuzma. The young Lakers player certainly learned his lesson after having his shot denied twice at the hands of the Pacers anchor on defense.

And we’re now at the best Myles Turner block of the 2018-19 season.

No.1 Marvin Williams

Masked Samurai Myles doesn’t play around.

Williams went up in the air thinking he was about to put Turner on a poster and end up on ESPN the next morning. He was right.

Myles Turner is certainly on the trajectory to be a perennial nominee for an All-Defensive Team and Defensive Player of the Year award. His defense is indispensable if the Pacers want to remain contenders in the Eastern Conference and his continued progression should remain extremely promising for Pacers fans.