Both?: Myles Turner
Myles Turner's performance against Philadelphia was a tale of two halves which couldn't have been more different from each other.
In the first half, Turner struggled mightily, both on defense trying to guard Joel Embiid and on offense being guarded by Joel Embiid. It got to a point where Turner was becoming borderline unplayable, and the better decision would be to let Jalen Smith or even Daniel Theis have a go at guarding Embiid, as he scored seven points on 2/8 shooting and picked up two early fouls while Embiid had 26 points on 8/12 shooting in the first half alone.
The second half, however, was another story. Thankfully, Turner changed his offensive strategy and started driving to the rim and spotting up more instead of attacking Embiid in the post like he did earlier, and it paid dividends on the stat sheet.
In contrast to the first half, where he couldn't hit anything, Turner scored 15 points on 5/9 shooting in the second half and even had two blocks as he almost erased the memory of his first half. In addition to the improved scoring and better shot IQ, Turner's defense on Embiid improved greatly. Embiid only scored 11 points on 4/14 shooting in the second half, being outplayed by Turner after utterly dominating him in the first half.
This inconsistency from Turner is exactly what Indiana wanted to avoid going into the season. While it is good that he learned from his mistakes in the first half and played much better from that point on, Myles Turner has played Joel Embiid enough times to know what his strengths and weaknesses are on offense and defense.
In the first half, Turner tried plenty of post-ups on Embiid, which were duly met with misses or blocked shots, and the few times he drove on him, he was successful. In the second half, Myles changed up his approach and used his explosiveness and athleticism more, leading to better results and a much better half.
We all know that Myles Turner has routinely struggled with Joel Embiid for pretty much his entire career. However, the second half of tonight's game showed that Turner did learn from his mistakes and looked more comfortable with the superstar on him compared to the first half. Hopefully, Turner can take this performance to heart and come up with a full gameplan for Tuesday's rematch against Philly as part of the In-Season Tournament.