NBA

'I think I'm the best shot-blocker in the world' - Pacers center Myles Turner dominates the Pelicans

By Sports Desk November 08, 2022

Indiana Pacers big-man Myles Turner enjoyed one of the best games of his career in his side's 129-122 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.

Turner, who has led the NBA in blocked shots per game on three occasions (2018-19, 2020-21 and 2021-22), also reached a significant milestone as he tallied three blocks to become the second-quickest Pacers player to reach 1000.

While he dominated the defensive end of the court, he also excelled as an offensive threat, scoring a game-high 37 points on 11-of-18 shooting (four-of-seven from long range, 11-of-11 free throws) with 12 rebounds.

All five Pacers starters scored at least 15 points, but Tyrese Haliburton was Turner's partner in the win, scoring an efficient 20 points (seven-of-14 shooting, six-of-10 from three) while dishing 13 assists.

Speaking to the media after the win, Turner indicated he is much happier in his role under coach Rick Carlisle, turning more into a big who can shoot as opposed to just being a big shooter.

"My teammates look for me, and being at the five I have a lot more advantages down low now, especially against teams who are switching more," he said.

When asked about his 1000th blocked shot – which came on a dunk attempt from Zion Williamson – he made it clear where he feels he stands among the game's best rim-protectors.

"It's special man, this is what I do," he said. "I think I'm the best shot-blocker in the world, and I'm going to stay with that confidence.

"It's special that I can do this here at home – regardless of the noise, my heart is in Indy, I think my fans here know that."

His last comment was in reference to consistent chatter linking him with a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers – chatter he contributed to with his appearance on Adrian Wojnarowski's 'Woj Pod' where he laid out why he would be a good fit with LeBron James.

This performance will undoubtedly get the attention of the Lakers, but for now he remains in Indiana, where head coach Carlisle believes he is becoming the player he wants to be.

"[Turner] did damage around the basket at both ends," he said. "It was one of his most impactful games that I've seen since I've been here.

"He just played the game, played a simple game. When they switched on him, he positioned himself to catch the ball and punish them inside. 

"There was nothing he did that was out of character, or that was something he was not capable of doing. That's one of the beautiful things about this game, is when you play within yourself and do things to your strengths, you can be extremely confident, extremely cocky and extremely successful."

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