Myles Turner: Summer League Recap

The Orlando Summer League ended over a week ago, but the Pacers draft pick performances deserve recognition and analysis. While the Pacers squad only won a single game of their five in total, Myles Turner and Joseph Young were two of the top three scorers at Orlando, and each were named to NBA TV’s All-Tournament Team along with Russ Smith of the Grizzlies, Aaron Gordon of the Magic, and Stanley Johnson of the Pistons. Here’s a look at the stats for the Pacers picks:

Myles Turner: 18.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 4.3 BPG, 61% FG in 3 games

Joe Young: 22.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, 51% FG in 4 games

I’ll talk more about Joe Young in my next post (EDIT: Available now), but here’s some analysis on Mr. Turner:

Myles Turner’s performance was so impressive that the Pacers decided to hold him out of the last two games for rest. The buzz was still around from Turner’s performance even during the Las Vegas Summer League as Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated tweeted out:

Turner’s potential skill set is very unique in the NBA: elite rim protection and elite jump shooting out to the 3-point line. The only player that has a similar skill set would be Serge Ibaka, but Turner also showed post moves that were trademark violations of the newest San Antonio Spur, LaMarcus Aldridge. This is a massive understatement, but if Turner can live up to those (probably unfair) comparisons, the Pacers will have made an excellent pick at #11. Turner flashed a smooth turnaround jumper as his pet move in the post. He also has a nice step-back shot and will be an immediate threat as both a pick-and-pop and pick-and-roll big. Turner’s defense was impressive as his ridiculous 4.3 BPG would suggest. Look how high he gets on this block he pinned on the backboard:

Another highly encouraging stat for the Pacers is how efficient Turner was in his scoring. Here’s some advanced statistics for all the lottery picks by Synergy Sports. Turner only had 14 possessions per game and turned those into 1.244 points per possession which is by far the best of all the lottery picks.

The worries with Turner, especially early in his career, will involve foul trouble. Turner is often slightly out of position on defense, but is still able to make shots difficult for opponents and even block them with his great timing and long arms. Being out of position will also lead to that dreaded foul trouble that big men often struggle with early in their careers. In the Summer League, players don’t foul out until they get 10 fouls, and Turner took advantage of that with 8 fouls in one game.

He will need to develop a hook shot in the post as a counter when opponents are ready for his quick turnarounds. He attempted one hook in his three games and made it, but it wasn’t as smooth as the rest of his offensive game. His draft stock fell because of his unusual running gait, but honestly after watching all his games in Orlando, I never really noticed anything unusual. Although, I’m used to watching Roy Hibbert “run” up and down the court, so maybe I don’t know what proper running looks like.

Best case scenario in his rookie year, Myles Turner starts immediately and wins Rookie of the Year averaging somewhere around 13-15 points per game and 8 rebounds and a couple blocks. The mostly likely case is that he comes off the bench his first season at least initially and struggles with foul trouble, but still makes an impact with his scoring and shot blocking.

Turner seems to have the desire and ability to be a leader out on the court that he showed in the Summer League as well. This video really shows Turner’s communication skills on the floor.

Here’s some highlights of Turner’s game against the Stanley Johnson-led Pistons:

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