Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis to Spend More Playing Time Together

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 1: Domantas Sabonis #11 of the Indiana Pacers handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 1, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Indiana Pacers have two young frontcourt talents in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis to build around, but they haven’t seen much time on the court together yet. Nate McMillan told the media after the team’s practice today that Turner and Sabonis not often playing together will probably change.

As McMillan mentioned in the video above, Thaddeus Young could use more time on the bench to rest. Thad currently leads the team in playing time with an average of 33.9 minutes per game. Their team is built on outhustling the opposition and getting out in transition, so it’s not an easy role to do for heavy minutes over the course of an 82 game season.

Luckily for the Pacers, they have a talented young big man in their bench unit in Sabonis. He has certainly exceeded expectations for the Pacers this season. The 21-year-old is currently averaging a double-double with 13.0 points (62.2% FG, 25% 3P, 68.2% FT), 10.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 29.2 minutes per game.

We haven’t been able to see a Turner-Sabonis frontcourt play too often to start out the season because of injuries. For reference, they have played together for 18 total minutes, and the Pacers have a 118.3 offensive rating, a 119.5 defensive rating, and a -1.2 net rating. The potential is indeed there for them as a duo even if the numbers haven’t suggested that so far.

They showed promise together in the team’s last game, which was a 105-87 victory over the Chicago Bulls. During that game, Indiana had a 124.7 offensive rating, 111.9 defensive rating, and a 12.9 net rating for the 8 minutes that Turner and Sabonis shared the court. While this performance was against one of the worst team’s in the league, it’s intriguing nonetheless.

Giving more playing time to Domantas Sabonis at the power forward position should naturally translate to fewer minutes for the rookie T.J. Leaf. It appears that they will be transitioning to more of a three-man frontcourt rotation with Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young, and Domantas Sabonis all being capable of playing both positions in different types of lineups.

Be sure to check back with Indiana Sports Coverage soon because I will have an in-depth analysis of how a Turner-Sabonis frontcourt can work together shortly.

About Grant Afseth 458 Articles
Grant Afseth is the lead Indiana Pacers writer for and founder of Indiana Sports Coverage.