Myles Turner has dealt with minor injuries his entire career. He typically loses a handful of games every season to injuries. However, Turner now has a major injury and his team is at a crossroads. According to the Indiana Pacers, Turner is out indefinitely with a toe injury. To add insult to injury, Domantas Sabonis is day-to-day with a back injury. Let’s dive into what this means for Turner and furthermore, what this means for the Pacers and their playoff ambitions?
What the Myles Turner Injury Means for the Indiana Pacers
Prior to the Injury
This season, Indiana has been disappointing. One of the most consistent teams in the league has lost its form. The Pacers have made the playoffs nine out of the last 10 seasons with their last season below .500 coming six years ago. However, while this season has been disappointing by their standards, they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. They sit as the ninth seed and would be in the play-in tournament. Indiana is still struggling to find their old consistency, going just 5-6 in the month of April. Furthermore, they have dropped recent games to other teams that are battling for the final playoff spots. While their recent play has been nothing to write home about, the Pacers remain very much in the mix for playoff basketball.
What the Myles Turner Injury Means
Losing both Turner and Sabonis to injury is a massive blow, two of the Pacers’ top three players have been sidelined. Goga Bitadze also went down with an injury against the San Antonio Spurs. This leaves the big man responsibilities to the likes of Oshae Brissett, JaKarr Sampson, and Doug McDermott. Not ideal to say the least. Luckily, Sabonis’ injury is minor and he should be back in a couple of games. Turner, on the other hand, has no such luck. Turner has partially torn his plantar plate. This type of injury is one that you can’t rush the recovery process. On average, it can take roughly 4-8 weeks for this type of recovery if surgery is required. To make a long story short, Turner could be out for a long time.
What do the Indiana Pacers do now?
If you are the Pacers, what now? You have 16 games left in the regular season and remain just 4.5 games back of the sixth seed and avoiding the play-in tournament. However, through whichever possible series of events, it seems likely that if Indiana even makes the playoffs, they would end up facing the Philadelphia 76ers. Even if Turner was able to play, there is no chance he would be able to contend against Joel Embiid for an entire playoff series. Given the injuries to star players just before the end of the season, it’s time for Indiana to call time of death on this season and turn their attention towards the draft. The 2021 NBA Draft class is one of the best in recent memory and a high pick will be a valuable asset for trades. Or, they could go after one of the highly-touted prospects such as Corey Kispert, Josh Giddey, or Cameron Thomas. Indiana could try to remain competitive and push for playoff success but with either a matchup with the 76ers or the Brooklyn Nets, however, they are better off scrapping this year and looking to the future.
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