Myles Turner 2019-20 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from Myles Turner's 2019-20 season.

Myles Turner 2020 Player Review

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Myles Turner 2019-20 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from Myles Turner's 2019-20 season.
Sep 9, 2020  |  00:56

Player Review 2020: Myles Turner

Age: 24
Years Pro: 5
Status: Entering second year of a four-year contract extension signed in 2018.
Key Stats: Averaged 12.1 points in 29.5 minutes, along with 6.6 rebounds per game and the NBA's 4th-best blocked shot average (2.1).

A lot has been written about Myles Turner and his suspected role on this Pacers squad in the past. Former Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird even threw out a bold prediction that he has the potential to become one of the greatest to ever wear a Pacer uniform.

Turner seemed well on his way to stardom after his sophomore NBA season, where his stat line showed glimpses that he could become the perennial top star of the Pacers given adequate time to fully form his game.

A quick glance at Turner's stat line since, particularly this year, might give off the impression Turner has plateaued. However, when a keen eye peers deeper into Turner's game, one sees that his game hasn't peaked. He's doing what young centers have to do to survive in this dynamic league.

He's evolving.

PHOTO GALLERY: Myles Turner's 2019-20 Season in Photos »

Let's start with the obvious. There's only one basketball. And right now, the ball (and the offense) is flowing through Domantas Sabonis. This is rightfully so. The power forward put up an All-Star season as far as points and boards are concerned. To boot, the team has discovered he has the coveted big-man passing skills of fellow European giant Nikola Jokic.

This led Turner to craft his own game around Sabonis' as more of a complement rather than the main course. The duo had to adjust to playing together for the majority of the season — something they had not done much until this year.

In 2018-2019, it was Turner that got more looks than Sabonis. The former Texas star threw up 780 shots at an average of 10.5 shots per game, while Sabonis clocked in at 9.5 attempts off the bench (700 attempts). This year despite the shortened season, Sabonis released 848 shot attempts at an average of 13.7 per game, while Turner shot just 587 times, plus another 44 in the playoffs, at an average of 9.5 attempts per game. Sabonis climbed from eighth to third on the team in field goal attempts, while Turner fell from fifth to sixth. It's safe to say Turner's 1.2-point dropoff in average points per game can be attributed to that.

Turner also needed to find an offensive role outside of Sabonis' true repertoire. Fans know that Sabonis can fire off a mid-range shot or a 3-pointer now and again. However, that isn't exactly the meat of his game. But it is more in Turner's wheelhouse.

This year, Turner shot better than the last in three out of five distance ranges. His biggest improvement came in the 10-16 foot range. He connected on 54.5 percent of his shots compared to 47.6 percent last year. His overall two-point shot percentage rose from 52.1 percent to 54.0.

Myles Turner

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

Also, instead of aiming for less-productive long two-point shots, Turner decided to step beyond the arc more often. He attempted 143 attempts less long twos last season while taking 54 more 3-point shots. This caused his average 3-point attempts per game to rise 1.4 points to a total of 4.0. And his 3-point percentage only decreased slightly, from .388 to .344, despite the increased volume.

Much of the slight drop in 3-point percentage can be attributed to his home/away game splits. Turner shot an honorable 143-of-296 (41.6 percent) at home while connecting on just 150 of 335 shots away (27.6 percent). Confidence while away from home will be something the big man will need to improve on next season.

But while most people stop at the offensive statistics when evaluating a player, most of what Turner provides as production doesn't necessarily show up on the basic score sheet.

Without a doubt, Turner is still a dominant shot blocker. Though the 2018-2019 league leader in blocks didn't repeat, he still finished fourth in the NBA in blocked shots per game (2.1). He was one of just seven NBA players to finish with an average of 2.0 or higher.

Additionally, Turner's defensive prowess has given him another impressive number this year. Only considering players that played in 50 games or more this season, he sits tied for 28th in defensive rating, only giving up 105 points per 100 possessions. Currently, he is the vital defensive piece the Pacers need as Sabonis continues to work on that part of his game.

All signs point towards Turner continuing on an upward trajectory on both offense and defense. The pairing of Sabonis and Turner down low, while rotating in Goga Bitadze, can gum up the middle for opposing point guards and rim seekers. Additionally, it appears as if Turner is honing in on his offensive role.

The young center averaged 14.1 points per game over his final 12 appearances in the regular season. He ended his regular-season campaign with a strong 18-point, 12-rebound double-double in a four-point victory over the Houston Rockets.

In the playoff series against the Heat, he showed up again on the scoresheet. In Game 2, he finished with 17 points, including a perfect 3-for-3 beyond the arc, and eight boards. In Games 3 and 4, he collected two consecutive double-doubles, proving he can rise to the occasion.

Eyes will be fixated upon Turner's play in 2020-2021. And he has the advanced statistics to prove his doubters wrong.

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