In typical Myles Turner style, the starting center was a constant disruption with his activity on defense but struggled to gain rhythm on offense in Team USA’s 88-67 victory against the Czech Republic in their opening FIBA World Cup game.
Turner finished 2-7 with 4 points, 7 rebounds, 1 turnover and 2 blocks in 16 minutes.
Chicago Bull’s Tomas Satoransky controlled the game out of the gate and had the Czech Republic leading USA 11-7 in the first quarter, but the Americans rattled off an 10-0 run when he went to the bench to retake the lead. They did not trail for the rest of the game.
Team USA settled for contested jumpers in the opening quarter, which contributed to their early struggles. Once they began attacking the basket, they got easy looks at the rim and kick-outs to open perimeter looks.
The team led 43-29 at halftime.
Turner was replaced by Brook Lopez in the first quarter for a short stint, but the majority of the first half minutes were spent with either Turner at center or small-ball lineups with Harrison Barnes at center.
USA was led by Donovan Mitchell with 16 points and Barnes with 14 points.
Satoransky, finished with 13 points, 2 rebounds and 5 assists.
Turner contributed to Team USA’s jump-shot settling, as the Pacers center missed several mid-range jumpers early, including on the opening possession of the game.
Some of the jumpers were looks Turner can hit when his shot is on, but he took a couple jump hooks from 10-feet away from the basket, an inefficient look that is not in his arsenal.
He also failed to make the right reads when he got doubled in the post, which led to his early turnover.
Defensively, Turner was disruptive, per usual. He established a presence in the paint with two early blocks, and the Czech Republic was clearly more aggressive at the rim when he was off the court.
Team USA’s next game is on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. against Team Turkey, who has NBA players Cedi Osman, Furkan Korkmaz and Ersan Ilyasova. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.