NBA Awards: Pacers’ Myles Turner shows the system is broken

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Tis the season for NBA awards to be announced every 5 minutes or so. Are you ready for endless debate about who made the team?

While ESPN and other media pundits will endlessly debate around “who is the most clutch” or “who is the greatest of all-time”, one of the great questions will get missed by the broad media:

Why has Myles Turner never made an All-Defensive team?

Here’s the largely deserving winners this year:

I mean, the guy is consistently in play for the block champion of the league and is known as a rim protector league-wide. He certainly isn’t the best perimeter defender in the league, but continues to be one, if not the most, dominant player at the rim in terms of protection. But why does he continue to get left off of the list?

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The majority of his career, Turner has not been competing for a championship as well as plays in a small-market.

Turner is at a disadvantage come awards season on two fronts. First, the Pacers have largely not been competitive in the playoffs during his career and because of that he gets a lot less views than some of his other small-market counterparts (see Rudy Gobert). But he also plays on a small-market team meaning that other noncompetitive big-market players will more likely make the All-Defensive team before he will.

From a statistics standpoint, he should have made at least second-team a few times by now. Here is how often he has made the league leaderboard (top 20 in the league)

  • Blocks (7x), once being the total blocks champ
  • Blocks per game (7x), twice being the blocks per game champ
  • Defensive win shares (3x)
  • Defensive plus/minus (3x)
  • Defensive rating (3x)
  • Block percentage (6x), twice led the league

Another year, another snub, and the Pacers will continue to have one of the best defenders in the league on our team. And apparently we are the only ones who know it.

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