It’s time for the Indiana Pacers to help Myles Turner

Myles Turner - Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Myles Turner - Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

The career of Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner has been one that is left with a lot of questions and concerns about his development. For years, the story has been Turner needing to take a step forward on offense to reach the next tier talent-wise. Here we are several years into his tenure and things have not changed.

Turner has been an incredible defensive force with enough offensive talent to pose a threat on that end when he’s aggressive. His ability to knock down shots from deep can help keep defenses honest but he is a little shy when he gets his looks out there.

The Indiana Pacers need to play to Myles Turner’s strengths

It appears that Turner is never going to reach that high offensive ceiling that many fans had hoped for – and that’s okay! In fact, that’s not a problem at all. The Pacers have a lot of talented offensive players that can carry the load on that end, including another center in Domantas Sabonis. Turner does not need to force things.

If we’re being honest, the Pacers simply have not done a great job of managing a two-big lineup over the years but they are adamant about making it work. In order to right the ship, they need to let Turner focus on being the defensive ace that he is without hammering home the idea that he is not worth playing.

Spacing the floor with Turner and getting him a few three-point attempts per game is plenty. Let him get involved on offense but do not force the issue. He showed some flashes as a driver and finisher last season but we all know that strength is the biggest flaw in Turner’s game.

That is why the Pacers need to do a better job of alleviating that pressure. Sabonis is one of the league’s top rebounders so why does Turner always get blamed for low rebounding numbers? His defensive presence forces misses in the direction of Sabonis, making their tandem useful.

While he is a good defender, there is no denying that Turner still needs help on defense. The perimeter defense has been poor at best for the Pacers in recent years, leading to easy drives at the rim or forcing Turner to step away from the basket to help defend outside.

He is at his best when he controls the paint but that is a lot tougher to do when opponents have easy access from outside. At some point, the Pacers need to invest in their defense beyond Turner.

I can understand some of the complaints with Turner, especially the lack of substantial growth on offense, but his overall impact on the game cannot be overstated. He is the heart and soul of Indiana’s defense and with T.J. Warren and Edmond Sumner set to miss time this season, a lot will fall on Turner once again.

The Pacers need to find a way to limit his flaws and focus on utilizing his skill set moving forward. He is not a bad player by any means. Turner, still just 25, can be a cornerstone for the franchise if they want to make him one. They just have to be comfortable with investing in a defensive-minded big man that is playing next to an offensive-minded big.

This season is an important one for the Pacers. Rick Carlisle has to turn things around before things get ugly in Indianapolis and it all starts on the defensive end. As long as they can keep opponents from scoring 112+ points per game like they allowed last season, the Pacers will hang with anyone.

It all comes back to Myles Turner and how the coaching staff wants to use him. If they want to do what is best for him and the team, they will allow him to be the defensive anchor he can be while not harping on his offensive struggles as they come and go.

Recent Indiana Pacers news. dark. Next