Myles Turner struggled to make shots against the Detroit Pistons on Friday and didn’t play down the stretch as the Indiana Pacers went on a 51-22 run to come from behind and win.
“I didn’t have such a great game last game,” said Turner, who finished with just seven points on 3-of-13 shooting against the Pistons, after tonight’s game. “It’s all about bouncing back. This was a statement game for me.” Turner made a resounding statement against the Miami Heat to remind everyone that this is still the player with the highest ceiling on the Pacers.
In the first half alone, Turner made 9 of his 10 field goal attempts on his way to 20 points.
The Pacers ran away with the game in the third quarter and Turner finished with 25 points (11 of 14), seven rebounds, four assists, four blocks (5th-straight game with at least three blocks), one steal and the first smothered chicken of the year from Quinn Buckner.
After the game, Turner was interviewed by Jeremiah Johnson (after meeting Matthew McConaughey), where he talked about lacking in confidence lately and how his teammates got him out of it.
“Vic came over to my house after that Detroit game at one o’clock in the morning,” Turner told Johnson. “We just sat and talked for awhile. When you got guys on your team that care about you that much, that’s big. My teammates have been behind me this whole time. It’s up to me to push myself to play this way every night.”
“He responded, man,” said Oladipo. “That just shows the type of character he has.”
Team chemistry has been a struggle for the Pacers the past couple of seasons as roster turnover and awkward fits have seemed to cause more tension than anything else, but this squad, even with so many new faces, is coming together quickly.
“The camaraderie on this team is incredible,” Turner told the IndyStar after the game. “We get along so well on and off the court. I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface yet.”
The Pacers have been preaching a by committee approach all season long and other than Oladipo, the team’s next five highest scorers all average 13 points per game while taking between 9 and 12 shot attempts per contest.
“We’re not just depending on one person or two people to get us over the top,” Thaddeus Young said after the Pistons game. “We do it by committee. We all play a vital part on the court in what we do as a team.”
As Turner gains confidence and starts to feel more like himself after returning from the concussion and Domas Sabonis continues to impress, the Pacers have a good problem on their hands with finding enough time for both of their promising young big men.
The Pacers have now won three straight games and four of their last five.
They look to continue their success against former coach Frank Vogel and the Magic tomorrow night in Orlando.