Indiana Pacers: More Myles Turner is needed in crunch time

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Myles Turner and the Indiana Pacers are currently on a six-game losing streak. However, the center has been unable to contribute in crunch time due to coaching decisions.

It’s no secret, the Indiana Pacers are on a losing skid that is both frustrating and worrisome, especially for starting center Myles Turner.

The Pacers are on a six-game losing streak with each loss being decided by 10 points or less. That should be particularly frustrating for Turner because his number hasn’t been called in crunch time over the stretch.

Turner is a key cog for this Pacers team. The center has had an up-and-down season offensively but has continued to hold his own serving as the team’s defensive anchor.

It has been evident that Coach Nate McMillan has deployed a “small-ball” rotation in crunch time. However, not having Turner on the floor has hurt both the team and the center’s confidence as they attempt to climb out of the current blackhole.

In the team’s latest loss, to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night, Turner only logged six seconds in the 4th quarter. That should be particularly frustrating for Turner, who had a strong night offensively finishing the game with 15 points.

Over this six-game losing streak, there have only been three games where Turner has played over five minutes in the fourth quarter, against the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, and New Orleans Pelicans.

Besides those three contests, Turner has pretty much been non-existent in the 4th quarter due to coaching decisions.

In the first bout with the Toronto Raptors, Turner only logged 26 seconds in the last 12 minutes. That would be followed by less than 4 minutes played in the second game with Toronto.

For a member of the roster who has been a foundation for the Pacers, it’s alarming to not have Turner out there to give the team a fighting chance.

This leaves many fans wondering whether Turner’s lack of play in crunch time correlates to the current lack of wins.

It’s clear the Pacers coaching staff will need to make a change to combat the current losing streak. The first step could be to stick with what has worked in the past. That is including Turner in the mix during closing moments, especially when he is having a strong night offensively.

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Many have been questioning the Pacers’ late-game decision-making, as they should. The fact that Turner has been unable to contribute in crunch time due to coaching decisions is alarming and will continue to be questioned unless the Pacers can turn the corner before and after the all-star break.