Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner is displeased that he's not among the candidates being considered for the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year or All-Defensive Teams this season.
J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star provided Turner's remarks:
J. Michael @ThisIsJMichael
Turner on being recognized for DPOY and All-Defense: "Don't bullshit me. That's my message. I've been doing this year in and year out now. ... I understand defense isn't all about blocks.... My team needs me out there. When I'm not out there, the difference is glaring." #Pacers
Turner is currently out indefinitely with a "partial tear of his plantar plate in the great toe of his right foot," per an official Pacers statement on April 19.
The big man has missed 22 of Indiana's 69 games this year, and that is likely a factor in his being left out of current consideration for defensive awards and accolades.
There's no denying his defensive prowess, though. He's averaged 3.4 blocks per game this season and also ranks ninth in the NBA defensive real plus-minus, per ESPN.com.
The difference in the Pacers' defense with and without Turner on the court is noticeable too, with Basketball-Reference noting that opponents score 114.5 points per 100 possessions against Indiana without the ex-Texas star patrolling the post. With Turner, that number falls to 110.4 points per 100 possessions.
It also doesn't help that some of the game's top defensive stars this year (e.g. Gobert, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid) play for teams that will enter the playoffs as clear NBA title contenders. The 33-36 Pacers are slated to go to the play-in tournament and may not make the postseason.
As far as opinions on Turner's defensive prowess compared to his peers, he is notably fifth on Michael Kaskey-Blomain of CBS Sports' Defensive Player of the Year list. Steve Aschburner of NBA.com left Turner off his 10-person Defensive Player Ladder entirely.
He's also listed as a 100-1 underdog to win the award, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
The clear favorite is Gobert, whose 7.71 DRPM (per ESPN.com) tops the league. Atlanta Hawks big man Clint Capela is second (4.88 DRPM).
Ultimately, Turner doesn't need any accolades to prove how excellent he's been on the defensive end. He's unlikely to get official recognition this year, but Turner's defense certainly helped the Pacers stay afloat in the postseason conversation as opposed to nosediving out of the playoff picture entirely.