Indiana Pacers had another rough game overall in the Las Vegas Summer League as they lost 102-84 to the Detroit Pistons. Aaron Holiday struggled with running the offense against an NBA-caliber defender and Goga Bitadze (visa issues) and Edmond Sumner (sore foot) missed the second game.
As always, the results of these Pacers Summer League games don’t really matter but some of the details can give us insight. Here’s positives and negatives to takeaway from the second game.
This was not a good game for the Pacers second-year point guard. It raised concerns about his ability to run an offense at an NBA level based on his decision making. In the first half, he went 2 for 9 from the floor and had four turnovers. Bruce Brown of the Pistons made his life difficult on offense and forced him into tough shots and Holiday didn’t do himself any favors by jumping in the air with nowhere to go.
Holiday finished the game with seven turnovers with many of them just as head scratching as the one above. This exhibition doesn’t mean that Holiday won’t succeed in his larger role this year but it may mean there will be some growing pains. Holiday spent most of his minutes as a rookie as an off-ball guard while one of the Pacers veterans ran the show.
On the positive end, Holiday scored 20 points for the second straight game. He was inefficient at 7 for 21 but improved in the second half at 5 for 12. After making his first three 3-pointers at Summer League, he’s now missed his last eight including 0-of-5 shooting last night.
15 points and 10 rebounds for Alize Johnson in the second game. He showed his trademark effort off on the glass and was a big part of the Pacers grabbing 16 offensive rebounds. He did a lot of his scoring at the foul line as he repeatedly was able to draw fouls and made 7 of his 13 free-throw attempts.
Johnson also showed some of his limitations. On the very first possession of the game, his jump hook was completely smothered. He rarely dribbles with his left and can only attack with his strong hand. He was able to make a nice play at the end of the game with a defender overplaying his right.
Brian Bowen II
The Pacers 2-way contract player had another solid game. Bowen really filled up the box score with 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists. He made 2 of his 5 shots with his makes being a 3-pointer and a coast-to-coast bucket that came with a hard foul.
His passing stood out in this one as he set up a few easy buckets inside. He’s been one of the best Pacers through two games.
Another one of the Pacers best performers over the first two games is Akoon-Purcell. Through the first half, he had played great with 10 points (4 for 7) but he seemed to run out of stream in the second half (1 point, 0 for 6). He missed multiple easy looks at the rim after making nice moves to get there. He still looks like a possible candidate for the Pacers second 2-way contract. He often seems much more under control and able to play at his pace than most of the roster. Having some NBA experience with the Nuggets last year seeming to make him more comfortable.
Goga Bitadze may not play at all in Summer League but he is expected to have his visa issues sorted within the next couple days. Here’s Kevin Pritchard discussing it on the broadcast.
Shizz Alston scored 10 points on his first three shot attempts but missed his next four. He was an impressive +11 in a game the Pacers lost by 18.
Jaylen Johnson scored 8 points. MiKyle McIntosh had 10 points and 4 rebounds.
If you missed the first game, here are takeaways from the opener.