NBA Playoffs: 10 sleeper players to watch in Round 1

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 6: Myles Turner (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 6: Myles Turner (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Myles Turner

Thanks to missing 21 games through November and December, while being in the same rookie class as hyped players such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis, Myles Turner’s talent has been largely overlooked by most NBA fans this season.

However, don’t overlook just how talented he is. The Pacers are heading for an incredibly tough time against the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs and will need all the help they can get beyond their superstar, Paul George.

The benefit of Turner is that he should be able to contest against the Raptors’ All-Star duo, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, when they drive to the rim. Both excel at scoring inside, frequently looking to attack rather than only settling for outside shots (DeRozan in particular), which is where Turner’s rim protection can help.

Of course, Ian Mahinmi and Jordan Hill will need to step up, too, but Turner has averaged a highly-impressive 1.4 blocks per game (2.3 per 36 minutes) and follows opponents well on drives to the basket. He can certainly make a difference.

Just ask LeBron James to recall this play and you’ll know how good Turner can be.

On top of that, the Pacers can continue using Turner more on offense as they have over the latter stages of the season. He’s an excellent mid-range shooter for anyone, let alone as a 6’11” center (making 42.5 percent of his shots from 16-24 feet), and has been applying that soft touch to his improved post game to become a solid option on the low block.

In terms of doing all he can to help the Pacers’ 3rd ranked defense against an elite team and proving what he has to offer in general, Turner is worth watching this series.

Next: Dennis Schroder