Indiana Pacers season review: Evaluating Myles Turner

Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers, Myles Turner
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers – Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Myles Turner was crucial for the Indiana Pacers last season

Despite only playing in 47 games for a non-playoff team last season, it was clear that Myles Turner was important to this team. The two-big lineup may not be working but with Turner on the roster, the Pacers are a much better team defensively. Obviously, Turner is an incredible rim protector but his athleticism to defend the perimeter is a serious weapon.

Turner turned in a career year defensively. His 3.4 blocks per game led the league and saved the Pacers on many occasions. He also added a career-high 0.9 steals per game while altering countless more shots in the paint. As soon as he hit the injury list, Indiana’s defense fell even further off a cliff.

The Pacers recorded their worst defensive rating in franchise history at a whopping 112.4 while also allowing the most points in the franchise’s NBA history. The team’s defensive rating was 110.4 when Turner was on the floor but 115.0 when he was off.

Turner left the lineup after the April 6 loss to the Bulls and played in just one more game last season, a loss to the Hawks on April 18.

Prior to that point, the Pacers allowed 113.2 points per game. Once Turner was shut down, the Pacers allowed 120 points per game which would have been the most in the NBA last season by a pretty sizeable margin.

It is evident that Turner’s offense may never hit the ceiling we had hoped for but he was a bit more involved on that end last season. He attacked the rim after setting up defenders with his willingness to shoot from deep. At 4.4 attempts per game, Myles set a new bar on three-point shots under Bjorkgren.