The Pacers turned a road trip full of struggles into a success after beating the Jazz with a 48 minute effort to head home 2-2, with a pair of close losses that brings back the ghosts of west coast roadies past.
How many times have the Pacers dump games out west that seemed like wins heading in and then turned the tables to earn an unexpected win against a better team? Through five coaches, several different rosters it always seems the same. The Portland loss? I’ve seen that script play out at least 10 times, like a classic movie on TNT. But with the big win over a healthy Jazz team on the last game, the Pacers can return home with some momentum to build on.
Of course, with Philly at the Fieldhouse on Saturday, that momentum can halt in a hurry or expand. The Pacers do have quality wins over Miami, a hot at the time Knicks team and the Jazz, showing they can play with anyone when putting for a quality 48 minute effort regardless of who is on the injury list.
Myles Turner has really captured a subset of the Pacers momentum with his play over the trip. As Rick Carlisle pointed out after his 25-point effort against the Knicks, look past the points for Turner’s impact.
Turner averaged 13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.75 blocks over the trip while also making 10 of 19 threes (52.6%). More importantly, the consistent impact over the four games is big for Turner, including the way he rebounded from a slow start in Portland. Instead of another ‘here we go, again’ game, Turner made key threes and plays around the hoop to keep the Pacers in position to win down the stretch (which unfortunately didn’t happen).
Also, Turner showed up against an elite center matching up well against Rudy Gobert which eventually led to a weird kerfuffle after Turner stoned Gobert at the rim which did a few times throughout the game.
Like the Pacers, hopefully Turner can build on this momentum with Philly in town. Even if Joel Embiid doesn’t play, another Turner nemesis Andre Drummond will be in Embiid’s place. If Turner can avoid foul trouble and continue to impact the game in his unique way at both ends of the floor, the Pacers will be in good shape for another win.
Here’s my favorite Tweet from the Turner/Gobert throwdown.
The Gobert/Turner thing reminded me of the Titanic dancing scene pic.twitter.com/pTKnxodEBh— Jason Gallagher (@jga41agher) November 12, 2021
Check out the links: