4 things Pacers fans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving

Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte - Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte - Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner
Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

What Pacers fans should be thankful for: The Turbonis combo’s effectiveness

Over the last few years, the Indiana Pacers were firm on testing out the Myles TurnerDomantas Sabonis frontcourt combination, a bold aversion from today’s small-ball revolution. The pairing has been a largely neutral presence in their first three full seasons operating as a duo in the starting lineup, but the jury may now look at this pairing as an operational, and not just tolerable, marriage.

This season, however, the Turbonis has been more than just an experimental staple—the Turner-Sabonis duo has been the Pacers’ third-best two-man combination this season, yielding a +8.9 rating. Last season? That number was -3.1. Rick Carlisle is not without his faults, but this is the best that the zagging frontcourt has looked in all their years together.

Turner has not been as trigger-shy from three-point land and has adapted to being a full-time floor spacer and occasional rim runner while maintaining his elite defensive numbers. Sabonis has been tallying modest numbers compared to his All-Star campaigns, but his defensive activity, while still negligible at the rim, has surprisingly been more than tenable covering the perimeter. If he can be more assertive on offense, this combo should still be on deck for much better outputs.

The Turbonis frontcourt will still be the probable target when the Pacers gun for a retooling, but if they stick to their guns, a more likely proposition anyway, fans should be more than optimistic than ever about the effectivity of the big man pairing with their more seamless coordination this season.

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