Myles Turner may not have achieved in making Euless Trinity into a basketball name but he has succeeded in making a name for himself as a rookie in the NBA. Mr. Turner is 19 and he has it.
Guys like Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis receive the majority of the rookie love during the NBA’s All-Star break but Myles Turner is going to catch this trio pretty soon.
Turner returned to HEB on Thursday to participate in Myles Turner Day at Central Junior High School to present the school’s first ever player of the year award named in his honor.
Turner was The Man at Euless Trinity High School and played for one season at the University of Texas before he declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft. Despite a limited college resume he was the No. 11 overall pick of the Indiana Pacers where over the last month or so his game has flourished.
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“(During the draft) we did start to get nervous because he wanted his name called,” said Turner’s father, David. “Once he got past picks seven and eight we were nervous. But when Indiana called his named it was just meant to be. It is the best organization for him. What has transpired I don’t see an organization any better for him. There is patience and there are pieces around him.”
At the behest/insistence or Pacers’ star forward Paul George, Turner was inserted into the starting lineup and he has taken off. Turner recognized what a big deal it was for a guy like George to insist to the organization that a rookie needed to be starting.
Since the start of the year Turner is averaging more than 11 points per game, a tick over five rebounds and a block per game. It’s worth mentioning again he is only 19 years old.
He is a 6-foot-11 small forward who can block shots. When he figures everything out, forget it. Turner’s ceiling is so high he can be a top-four player out of what appears to be a stacked rookie class.
Turner missed almost all of the first three months of the NBA season with a broken thumb but in January he began to make his climb. In a loss at Golden State on Jan. 22, Turner went for 31 points and eight rebounds. It was that moment Turner said he knew he could make it.
As a starter, which covers eight games, he averages 12.9 points and 7.6 rebounds in 30 minutes. All of those figures should go up the more he plays.
Turner is an easy guy to root for; he’s a bright, affable guy with a nice personality who comes from a good family. Right now, his parents take turns living with him in Indianapolis. The family had been carefully calculating Turner’s development for years and it is paying off.
The small problem in this scenario is the Pacers are, right now, average. The team is 28-25 and still needs a real point guard; they are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and as far as this season look like no real threat to do much in the playoffs.
That should be different next season. As good as Myles Turner is now he should be a double-double player by next season and help make the Pacers into a legit threat to the top three in the East.