Myles Turner strengthens his case for Defensive Player of the Year

Indiana Pacers, Myles Turner - Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Myles Turner - Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner is one of the leading candidates for Defensive Player of the Year. After his masterful defensive performance against the Mavericks, Myles Turner proved that he is the front runner.

Myles Turner may have had one of the best defensive games of his career last night against the Dallas Mavericks. In the impressive 109-94 victory, Myles had seven blocked shots and two steals and finished the game with a +15 plus/minus. Not only did Myles fill up the box score, but the presence he commands down low was on full display.

Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner is a frontrunner for DPOY

Myles is having his best year defensively that we have seen from him. He leads the league in blocks per game with 3.5, which is also a career-high for Turner. Myles also leads the league in STOCKS (steals plus blocks) with 4.4 per game.

His block percentage, which according to basketball reference is an estimate of two-point attempts blocked by a said player while they are on the floor, is the highest of his career at 9.7 percent. Turner’s 9.7 block percentage is currently fifth all-time in that category. This only strengthens the argument that Myles Turner is the best paint defender in the league.

Many people have either Rudy Gobert or Ben Simmons as their favorites to win Defensive Player of the Year this season, but it’s without question that Myles Turner’s name needs to be considered with these two. Ben Simmons and Myles Turner actually have the exact same defensive rating and defensive win shares this season, with both players being in the top ten in each category. Myles has a higher defensive plus/minus than Ben Simmons and is only .3 behind Rudy Gobert.

Myles Turner has always been a defensive presence, but this season he has reached elite status. With how Myles is playing this season no one can deny he is one of the best defenders in the league and he should be rewarded for it. The only thing that will get in the way of Myles winning this award is the lack of national attention the Pacers receive during the season.

For now Pacers fans, just sit back and enjoy the brilliance we are seeing from Myles Turner. This is an all-time run we are watching from Myles Turner and whether he wins Defensive Player of the Year or not we should cherish this moment. We are watching an elite defender blossom before our eyes.

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