Wednesday would have been Myles Turner’s first game against his hometown Dallas Mavericks. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
A rookie with the Indiana Pacers and graduate of Euless Trinity High School, Turner suffered a chip fracture in his left thumb Nov. 11 against the Boston Celtics. The injury has limited Turner to only eight games, and he’s averaged 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per contest.
“I’m just working hard to get back,” Turner said prior to Wednesday’s Mavs-Pacers game. “I’m out about two more weeks, so I’ll probably be back around New Year’s.
“It’s not a hard thing to come back from — there’s no rehab involved. It’s just getting back in basketball shape and moving around.”
Pacers guard/forward C. J. Miles was enjoying the progress Turner was making before the 6-foot-11 Texas product sustained his injury.
“It’s unfortunate he’s been hurt, but he showed a lot to us before he got hurt,” said Miles, who joined the NBA straight from Dallas Skyline. “He came in during the summer time, and coming into training camp he had real good length, and a real good shooting touch.
“He protects the rim, he’s real agile for his size, and he’s going to be great.”
Myles was the 11th overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft after playing just one season at Texas. He said the biggest transition he’s had to make from college is “definitely the strength of the game.”
“Everybody else told me about the speed of the game,” Turner said. “I adjusted to that pretty quickly with summer league, but the strength is something else.
“Guys are just really, really strong every game and it takes some adjustment to getting used to.”
Once Turner gets adjusted to life in the NBA, Miles believes the 19-year-old has a tremendous upside.
“He reminds me a lot of LaMarcus Aldridge,” Miles said. “A jump shooter that is big, size-wise, can pick and pop, and do a little bit of post-up fadeaway.
“He’s a good shot blocker, which adds another element to the guy. There’s not a lot of bigs that shoot the ball well and block shots. Everybody says the game is changing, and he’s a product of that change.”
Owner Mark Cuban reiterated Wednesday on why the Mavericks failed to retain Monta Ellis when the shooting guard opted out of the final year of his contract.
“Because it was capital driven, it was purely a number’s game,” Cuban said. “We love Monta, we love Monta the person, and his family.
“It was one of the times where I went back-and-forth a lot, not just on the basketball side, but on the family side. His wife is in law school, his wife has an amazing future as a lawyer, and it was hard.”
Ellis, who scored 19 points for the Pacers in Wednesday’s victory over his old team, played the past two years for the Mavs and led them in scoring (18.9) and minutes played (33.7) last season. Almost immediately after he opted out of his contract, the Mavs headed in another direction.
“That’s the downside of this business,” Cuban said. “Sometimes you have to make decisions that you wouldn’t make in other businesses.
“In our case we were working to clear up cap space to do some things, and Monta was a casualty of that. But it was no disrespect to him the player.”