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Nate McMillan Compares Myles Turner to LaMarcus Aldridge

Danny Webster@@DannyWebster21Analyst IIIMay 18, 2016

Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner during an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Indiana Pacers forward Myles Turner's first NBA season is in the books, but new Pacers head coach Nate McMillan had high praise for last year's No. 11 overall pick.

McMillan thinks Turner is a near-replica of San Antonio Spurs All-Star forward (and fellow Texas Longhorn) LaMarcus Aldridge.

"Very similar," McMillan told SiriusXM NBA Radioย on Tuesday. "Almost like they were cloned." ย 

That's a bold claim to make about someone who's played 60 NBA regular-season games, but Turner has shown he possesses some of the same skills that make Aldridge one of the best bigs in the NBA.

The 20-year-old Turner started 30 games for the Pacers this year on their way to the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. He averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in just under 23 minutes per game. Compare those numbers to Aldridge's rookie year, and Turner posted better numbers. Aldridge posted averages of nine points and five rebounds in 22 minutes.

Rookie-Year Comparison: Myles Turner vs. LaMarcus Aldridge
PlayerSeasonPPGRPGFG %GP/GS
Aldridge2006-079.05.050.363/22
Turner2015-1610.35.549.860/30
Source: Basketball-Reference.com

Turner averaged five more minutes per game in the playoffs but accumulated nearly the same averages of 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds. And he still has plenty of room to grow.

"We got a lot of years together," Pacers star Paul George said, per James Herbert of CBSSports.com. "My job is to help [Turner] get to that level. His job is to get to that level. I look forward to growing with him and helping him become the best player he can be."

There's a lot to like about Turner's game. He showed a willingness to expand his shooting range and also made some of those outside shots. But because of his experience, it's too soon to compare Turner to anyone, let alone an All-Star like Aldridge.

Turner's a skilled big man with a knack for scoring around the basket, and he will benefit from having a superstar like George to learn from. The 2016-17 season will be the test to see if he's taking that next step as a star big man and if he's on track to making an impact like Aldridge.

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.

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