Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner missed six games with a sprained ankle before returning for a matchup against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, but now he’s right back on the injury report. The Pacers announced Monday that an MRI revealed a torn plantar plate in his right big toe. He could miss an extended period of time and will be out indefinitely.
Update: Goga Bitadze left Monday’s matchup against the San Antonio Spurs with an ankle injury, and his absence on top of Turner’s could be devastating for the Pacers’ postseason hopes.
The Pacers are ninth in the Eastern Conference with a 26-30 record. While they have a good shot at getting a play-in game to qualify for the postseason, Turner’s injury could greatly impact their conference champ (+6000) and NBA Finals (+15000) odds. Turner is a defensive anchor for Indiana in the post, and none of his backups can touch him as a rim protector.
Turner (+700) has the third-best odds to win Defensive Player of the Year at DraftKings Sportsbook. He leads the league with 3.4 blocks per game. He also chips in 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest and is able to stretch the floor by shooting from long range occasionally. Bitazde or JaKarr Sampson could gain significant fantasy value as starters, but Indiana could choose to go small by starting Doug McDermott at power forward and moving Domantas Sabonis to the 5.