VIDEO: Turner touches on variety of topics
Myles Turner of the Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses the pressures and emotions of stepping into a playoff race in his first season.
I definitely feel it starting to ramp up. Every game means something now. Not like it didn’t mean anything before, but it’s like every game now, especially within the Eastern Conference, can really determine how far you go. In one day you can go from sixth place all the way to like 10th.
The change is most likely coming from the coaches’ perspective, the coaches’ point of view. They’re really on us a lot more about little things, whether it’s being in certain spots on defense or picking up our intensity on offense. The coaches are on us a lot more.
It can be a little hectic just knowing that the team is depending on you to fill your role and do stuff that’s never really been asked of you in your life. It can be a little tough. But at the same time it can be fulfilling as well.
It really depends on how you look at it. My approach is I take it day by day. You can’t let it be too straining on you. But you’ve got to make sure you approach it the right way.
I think the only thing that really needs to change is the way you look at your preparation, to make sure you get as much rest as you need. It’s completely different than college when the NCAA tournament was getting close. The difference in talent on the court speaks for itself. But I think it’s different in your preparation, how the coaches view things. In March Madness it’s almost like you can make a mistake and get away with it because you’re not playing as strong of a team all the time, especially in the first round. But in the NBA, anything can happen. You’ve got to be ready for anything. You can’t really make mistakes like that because one mistake can be very detrimental.
I know without a doubt this is a personal test. Hopefully I’m in this position a lot in my career with making that playoff push. But I’m pushing myself and I’m hoping to see the results from it.
My teammates haven’t really said anything to me about what to expect. I think it’s something you have to go through by yourself. But everybody’s remaining positive with me, telling me every time I make a mistake to keep my head up, to keep working, keep learning, keep growing. Things of that nature.
The coaches haven’t necessarily told me not to get caught up in the emotions, but I’m pretty sure that’s their mindset. They might be a little nervous. But I’m pretty sure everybody’s been here before.
I think my teammates are starting to establish that trust a little bit more, but they know I’ve never been here before so it’s still a work in progress. I know I’m very confident in my abilities. I’m a very confident player.
And, yes, I’m starting to get some flashbacks as the NCAA Tournament is about to start. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be in it very long last year – we lost in the first round – so I didn’t really get to feel that true intensity. But right now, that same mentality I had to get prepared has stayed with me.