Myles Turner is without question one of the brightest young talents in the NBA. He was talked about all summer long while playing for Team USA’s Select Team and received a lot of praise from big-name players and coaches alike. The Indiana Pacers saw Turner step up in a big way during the playoffs last season against the Toronto Raptors and that excited the fan base.
Last night in the Pacers’ season opener against the Dallas Mavericks, Turner showed that he could be the NBA’s next big superstar.
During the Pacers’ 130-121 overtime victory over the Mavericks, Turner put together a monstrous game. He scored 30 points to go along with 16 rebounds and four blocked shots. Turner shot 13-19 from the floor overall, including a huge three-point shot late in overtime that helped seal the game for Indiana.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 27, 2016
At 20-years-old, Turner still has a lot of room to grow over the next few years. Indiana knows that they aren’t seeing anything close to the full potential that he possesses, which is a scary thought for opposing teams.
Paul George came into the season as the face of the Pacers’ franchise. It was obvious that Indiana has a dynamic duo in the making between George and Turner. George scored 25 points in the game on seven of 14 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.
All of that being said, what makes Turner potentially the next big superstar in the National Basketball Association?
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) October 27, 2016
Larry Bird decided to draft Turner with the No. 11 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. It was a move that many Pacers’ fans were unhappy with, and not many gave him a chance to prove himself before writing him off. Those fans are now kicking themselves for writing him off and couldn’t be more excited about the future of the franchise with him being a major cornerstone.
Mitch Lawrence of Forbes asked the important question of how Turner lasted until the Pacers were on the clock with the No. 11 pick in last year’s draft.
Coming into the NBA, Turner was criticized for his running style. Many thought that he would end up getting hurt because of the way he ran. That being said, the Pacers’ coaching staff worked hard with him, and he has fixed that issue.
— Myles Turner (@Original_Turner) October 27, 2016
Turner stands in at 6-foot-11 and has a unique game on the offensive end of the court. He can play with his back to the basket, or he can step out and hit the mid-range or three-point jumper. Indiana has created mismatches with him in the pick-and-pop game, which was a big test for the Mavericks in the season opener.
Not only does Turner have a complete offensive game, but he also has above average athleticism. He has shown the ability to thrown down some nasty dunks in his short NBA career, with one of those dunks coming late against the Mavericks to finish off the win.
Defensively, Turner has become the rim protector that the Pacers needed. They allowed Ian Mahinmi to walk in free agency this offseason, which was a big leap of faith in Turner’s ability to play center and be a defensive stopper.
There are very few players in the NBA that bring the kind of energy that Turner has for the game of basketball. He plays the game with a boyish enthusiasm that shows each and every possession. Loving the game can take a good player and make them great.
It will be very interesting to see how Turner continues to develop over the next couple years. Turner has an excellent work ethic, which is exactly why he dominated last night’s game the way he did.
Indiana is without question capable of building a championship contender around George and Turner. The youngster out of Texas is exactly the secondary star that George has needed over the last few years. Nate McMillan inherited a team that could very well contend with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference this season.
While George is still the best player on the Pacers’ roster, Turner is a close second. Both players are going to be asked to lead the team as the season moves forward.
Expect to see Turner continue on the upward trajectory that he has been on. He is not going to stop working hard and will only get hungrier to get better as he continues to succeed. Turner has superstar potential and is going to end up being one of the leagues’ next big deals.
Do you think Myles Turner is a future superstar? Are the Indiana Pacers a serious contender this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by David Zalubowski/AP Images]