Myles Turner Vs. Domantas Sabonis: Who is more vital to the Indiana Pacers?

Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner – Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /

We know Myles Turner can defend, but it may not be enough for the Indiana Pacers’ big to edge out Domantas Sabonis.

Offensive Value and Impact Score: 1/5

Allow me to make something abundantly clear here; I think Myles Turner is a talented big man thanks to his above-average close-out attacking for his size, solid feel for the game, and real three-point range.

The problem here is context, as Myles Turner is routinely the fourth or even fifth option in this team’s offense, and it’s really hindered his ability to showcase his modern NBA-friendly offensive skill set. It’s becoming routine for Turner to have nights where he doesn’t even sniff his average of nine shots a game.

Turner knows his job isn’t to score, so he adds value on offense by spotting up and adding super valuable spacing that isn’t capitalized on with sub-par drivers on the roster.

The reason for the low rating is the fact that he has an awful tendency to disappear, and it’s very hard to find any favorable offensive stats. His OLEBRON (An impact gauging stat that accounts for role, context, and utilization for offense) is a bleak -1.63 and his Offensive RAPTOR (An impact stat that weighs very favorably in the equation for modern stats like floor spacing and shot creation) is an even worse -2.3. Yikes.

For you box score truthers, his 12.7 points, 6.4 REB, and one assist a game on 48/34/79 splits kind of tells the same story.

Defensive Value and Impact Score: 5/5

Was this really even in question? If you’ve been with old boy Patrick Star under his rock, you might’ve somehow missed that Myles Turner is having a ridiculously impactful and productive year defensively. It doesn’t matter if you look at the tape, the box score, or advanced metrics, they all tell you that the only person competing with Myles is Rudy Gobert who is undoubtedly on a team with a better defensive context and talent level anyway.

The problems that Myles may have had with his lower body at the beginning of his career have pretty much diminished already as he’s put on some real poundage. (He weighs more than Sabonis!)

He allows virtually nothing inside, as by the eye any and all shots that come in the Turner domain are either sent to the fifth row of Banker’s or deterred anyway. I mean, the guy blocks so many shots Quinn Buckner won’t even say “Smothered Chicken!” anymore.

What do the stats say about his defensive prowess?

The obvious stat to look at is his ridiculously stupid league-leading 3.5 blocks a game. At second is Rudy Gobert, who is respectively almost a whole block under Turner at 2.8 a game.

The advanced stuff is also very much pro-Turner. His defensive LEBRON is second in the league at 3.11, his Defensive RAPTOR clocks on in at fifth in the NBA at a +4.8, and his block percentage is 8th of all-time at 9.2.

Besides just the rim protection, MT does just fine on the perimeter and can even stop guards with his length and quickness, and has closeout chops while being a great communicator.