Myles Turner has been regarded as a centerpiece for the Indiana Pacers. However, the center has been ailed by inconsistent play throughout his career. The past few weeks have been evidence of Turner’s struggle to have consistent performances on both sides of the floor.
Though he catches flak at times for his style of offense and overall consistency, Turner is a nice fit for the current roster.
However, it is the flashes of offensive firepower that teases Pacers fans and has lead to the downfall of high expectations regarding Turner and his potential.
Despite the inconsistency on offense, Turner is important to what the Pacers do on a nightly basis.
With the contract extension that Domantas Sabonis signed prior to the season, and his necessity to start with Turner, the latter player’s ability to stretch the floor on the offensive end plays well.
Turner has allowed the Pacers to stretch the floor. The stats prove this true as well.
Through his first 12 games of 2019-20, Turner’s three-point attempts have jumped to four per game. This is up from 2.6 last season.
With the increase, Turner was shooting 40 percent from that range prior to December.
Conversely, he is seeing the exact opposite from inside the arc, attempting just 5.4 shots from that range. This is down from 7.9 last season.
With a cold shooting start to December, Turner’s three-point percentage has crept down under 36 percent. This is evidence of a poor month of offense by the center.
As we all know, Turner is the difference-maker at the rim for a team that was ranked third overall in Defensive Rating last season and has been near that mark this season, ranking ninth.
Turner has the ability to take over games on the defensive end. With that said, it is important to note that his value to the team is not on offense.
When one is able to wrap their head fully around that, Turner’s importance and talent are easier to understand.
At the beginning of a new season, Turner plays out of his mind offensively.
Turner follows that up with inconsistency where he plays incredibly poor and the Pacers fan base is ready with pitchforks.
Unfortunately, November into December has been that stretch for the big man.
Through the first four games of the season, Turner was averaging nearly 15 points and seven rebounds per game while shooting 50% from the field.
Turner’s production has dwindled to the point that he is shooting just 35% from the floor in his first five December games.
Turner also played poorly last season around this time, posting career lows in points per game at 11, and was just above lows in field goal percentage at 47%, three-point percentage at 24%, and rebounds at 5.9.
However, Turner bounced back in a huge way, averaging 15.7 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 50% from beyond the arc at the start of the new year.
But one aspect that remained consistent for Turner during that span was his rim protection.
Turner was consistently among the league leaders in blocked shots. Turner saved so many defensive possessions and continues to do that in 2019-20.
The biggest issue that Turner has yet to solve is consistency on the offensive end overall. This is nothing out of the ordinary for young players in the NBA, but he needs to find it to really tap into his true potential.
Turner had two months over nine rebounds per game in 2018-19. That same season Turner had four months shooting 50% or better.
There is a foundation to build on.
The three-point percentage is much more of a roller coaster, which is what ultimately is the money maker for Turner in an offense with Sabonis on the floor as well.
Turner must realize his lack of production and take steps to curtail the issue. It is not only important for Turner as a player but for the Pacers as a team.
If Turner can become a consistent offensive threat, even if not improving drastically overall, he will be able to better the team on that end.
Even if not, he is still the biggest difference-maker on the roster, based on how he alters the opponent and keeps them honest on both sides of the floor.
Much like the Indiana weather seasons, if you don’t like the Myles Turner you see now, give it a few days and it could be a much friendlier version.