Turner clears mind, refocuses alone in gym for hours after Sunday’s loss

Myles Turner responded to Sunday’s performance the way many basketball players would — by staying in the gym.

As the media entered the locker room, about 10 minutes following their 107-90 home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Turner had changed out of his game uniform. With a basketball under his arm, he made his way through the underground tunnel across Delaware Street to the team’s practice facility, the St. Vincent Center.

Not only had the Pacers lost, not looking sharp in any way, but Turner had a game that he’d like to quickly forget.

In only 19 minutes of on-court time due to foul trouble, Turner missed all five field goal attempts and finished with one point — on a technical foul shot, he randomly stepped forward — two rebounds, two blocks, an assist, and four fouls.

“I was pretty upset at that game,” Turner admitted after practice on Tuesday. “It just wasn’t how I play, it just wasn’t my brand of basketball. I probably stayed here until like 11 o’clock and I think got up 1,200, 1,300 shots up on The Gun. Just shot.”

On top of his poor play and earning his first technical foul of the season — that’s a $2,000 league fine — Turner’s counterpart, Karl-Anthony Towns, had his way inside to the tune of 18 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks, and four assists in 38 minutes. Bigger picture, the Pacers were outrebounded and outscored in the paint, 58-36.

Asked about Turner’s performance, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan responded, ”I don’t have an explanation for it.”

Over at the St. Vincent Center, Turner shot alone for about three hours. He was by himself on purpose, and there was no music blasting as you might expect. He wanted to clear his mind and focus on the 1,000-plus shots he fired up before ringing in the New Year with his family.

“Whenever I’m depressed or I’m not in a good (mindset), I always come to the gym and just shoot,” said Turner, who lives just blocks away from the facility. “That’s kind of what I did that night but I’m feeling a lot better now.

“I had The Gun up, and then I was just shooting.

“D.C. [Darren Collison] also came back up here around 11 o’clock and we just talked for a while, just trying to get it together.”

Teammate Lance Stephenson, who was 2 for 9 with five points and a team-worst -35 plus/minus number, also was at a basket for at least an hour.

Stephenson fits in well as the sixth man, and the emotional leader of the second unit. But Victor Oladipo has been sidelined for the last three games and won’t play Wednesday in Milwaukee because of a sore knee.

A Pacer starter, including Stephenson, didn’t score in Sunday’s game until there was 4:47 left in the first half, and ended up with 32 points total. They missed all eleven shots and turned it over four times as they quickly fell in a 17-point hole. That’s unacceptable.

The coaches have considered moving Stephenson back to his usual position to keep that second group intact.

“You take Lance out of that second unit, we do lose size at that wing position so we’ll look at everything,” McMillan said.

The Pacers took Monday off as a team, though many guys were still in, and then they reconvened on Tuesday. The practice was similar in intensity to a training camp practice, and included full-court play. Throughout December, the team purposely kept shootarounds on game day to a minimum and limited their practice time to keep players fresh.

They won four of their first five games in the month, and then struggled. They went 3-7 in their next 10 games and finished December with a losing record for the month, 7-8.

Turner talks with the team after Tuesday’s practice.

Once five games over .500, the Pacers are now a loss away from being a .500 team.

“I just felt we needed to get back to some live work, more of a training camp type feel to get timing and all of that aggressiveness back.”

And at the conclusion of practice, huddled up as a team per usual, it was Turner who spoke up after McMillan said what he wanted to say (as seen in the photo).

It’s a light week for the Pacers with Chicago in town on Saturday. Next week they’d like to have Oladipo back, though it’s unlikely, with three home games — on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and all against playoff teams in the East.

The Bucks, Heat, and Cavaliers.

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://vigilantsports.com/turner-clears-mind-refocuses-alone-in-gym-for-hours-after-sundays-loss/trackback/