Tag Archives: Edmond Sumner

Pacers Edmond Sumner is ready for his opportunity

After an impressive preseason for the Indiana Pacers 2-way player, Edmond Sumner could be poised for a big second season if the opportunity comes.

“”Just stay ready,” Sumner said of what the coaching staff has told him of his role. “Whenever my number is called just be ready.”

There might not be minutes for Sumner immediately when the season begins but if any injury to a guard or small forward occurs, it’ll likely be Sumner that steps up.

“It gives us another look with our depth,” said Darren Collison after practice on Saturday. “It’s such a long season that you never know whose going to have an opportunity to perform or play well or go down with injury God forbid. He can step right in and fulfill a role that we might need down the stretch of the season. He can play some point guard, play some two, maybe even some three. I thought he played well.”

Sumner was the first choice for Nate McMillan in the preseason when both Tyreke Evans and Cory Joseph were out with an injury. With Evans’s injury history, having a capable replacement is paramount and Sumner looks up to the task if needed.

“He’s been playing extremely well in preseason and in training camp proving that he is an NBA basketball player,” said Thad Young after practice. “… He can provide significant help to a team that needs him to step in and spot some guys some minutes and he’s shown the capability to run a team also.”

Sumner showed exactly how he can help the team in preseason with his aggressive drives to the rim. Here he snakes by Jaren Jackson Jr. on the pick and roll and dunks on multiple defenders.

It’s the type of play he couldn’t quite make last season while recovering from a torn ACL and playing in the G-League. Now that he’s fully healthy, he’s showing why he was considered a first-round prospect while at Xavier before the injury.

“I just wanted to do whatever the coaching staff asked of me,” said Sumner of his preseason success. “They wanted me to go out there and defend–that was the biggest thing–and stay aggressive so those were the two things that I was focusing on.”

Not only is he healthy, but he also worked hard over the summer training with Joey Burton, who has worked with Glenn Robinson III and Yogi Ferrell among others. Here’s an example of him translating his workouts to an actual game with the over-the-head swim move on the drive and a tough finish.

Sumner knows he still has plenty of work to do. He says that shooting is “probably one of my biggest weaknesses,” but he shot the 3-pointer fairly well in preseason play on his limited attempts making two of his five shots over four games.

“It’s more about being in the game and knocking down shots,” said Sumner. “I can go out and do a workout do whatever, but I got to go out into the game and translate it and make shots.”

Perhaps the biggest reason that McMillan was so comfortable using him in the preseason was his strong defense. Sumner’s length gives him the versatility to defend the 1, 2 and 3 spots and he averaged 1.5 steals per game in just 15 minutes. You can see his athleticism paying off in a big way on this defensive play.

“I can check multiple positions and I’m willing to defend,” said Sumner, who felt like defense was an overlooked part of his game.

His ability to get into the paint on offense was beneficial to his teammates as well as he was a willing passer when the defense focused on him, setting up Domantas Sabonis and others on many occasions averaging 1.3 assists in his time on the floor. You could see his ability to play point guard while directing traffic in the half court including one play where he waved off Evans so he could initiate the offense.

The Edmond Sumner Hype Train may take a moment before it’s full steam ahead during the regular season but if he gets an opportunity it’s going to be hard to derail it once he gathers momentum.

Sumner is currently on a 2-way contract that gives him only 45 days with the NBA team, but it’d be surprising to see him spend too much time in the G-League this year. He simply looked too good in the preseason. The Pacers may use up his days quickly before converting his deal like they did with Alex Poythress last season.

 

 

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Preseason Takeaways: Pacers look ready for the regular season against Cavaliers

The Indiana Pacers won their third preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-102. As said previously, the results don’t really matter but not everything from these preseason games is without value.

This game was an entertaining one from the start. Here are some takeaways that we can look for when the regular season starts in just 9 days.

Victor Oladipo looks poised for a fast start

Victor Oladipo was playing this game in the first half like it was Game 8 in the first round of the playoffs. He scored 10 points within the game’s first five minutes including a pair of pull-up 3-pointers and this ludicrous one-foot step back from the foul line seen early in the video below.

Oladipo only knows one speed and hasn’t been slowing it down for preseason. He’s ready to show how much he’s improved over the offseason once again. It should be a fun start to the season for the Pacers All-Star. He finished with 23 points on only 10 shot attempts in 28 minutes.

Myles Turner’s defensive positioning may be much improved

Myles Turner in his first few seasons has always shown phenomenal rim protection and shot-blocking skills but struggled with constantly being ready in the right position on the defensive end. Instead often using his length to try and make up for his poor positioning. Last night, he was always in the right position to help or protect the rim.

Turner blocked 3 shots including a pair of beautiful rejections of dunk attempts by Sam Dekker, but he altered many more and deterred opposing players away from the rim to prevent a shot attempt often, especially in the third quarter. He also played well anytime he was forced to guard a smaller player on the perimeter.

If Turner makes a leap on that end, this could be a very good Indiana Pacers defense this season.

He struggled to hit his jump shots tonight and finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds but still showed some new skills on the offensive end as well.

The Pacers played Turner alongside Domas Sabonis for only two minutes in this one. Sabonis and Kyle O’Quinn played a lot together in the second quarter but strange that the pairing that has been so heavily discussed has barely seen the court to this point.

Edmond Sumner should spend zero time in Fort Wayne this season

Edmond Sumner looks like the first-round pick talent that some had him rated before his injury at Xavier. He continued his solid preseason play by scoring 11 points in the first half while making all four of his shot attempts.

There looks like there’s not much reason for him to spend time in Fort Wayne this year. He looks like he should not only be on the NBA roster but have a spot in the rotation. Finding minutes for him may be difficult but he’s playing so well he may force Nate McMillan’s hand.

With no Cory Joseph tonight, it was Sumner who came in over rookie Aaron Holiday as the backup point guard and he was the replacement for Tyreke Evans when he missed a game, so it may just take one injury at one of the guard or small forward positions for Sumner to find himself in the rotation.

His passing and control of the offense was especially impressive in this one as he directed traffic and often got good looks for others with nice passes out of the pick and roll. He also made two 3-pointers which if consistent would make him a lock for a real NBA player. Prepare to board the Hype Train before it leaves the station.

Domantas Sabonis is going to get a lot of easy looks

The Domas Sabonis and Tyreke Evans pick and rolls have already been fun to see and Sabonis should reap plenty of benefits from the pairing.

He has also showed continued use of his right-hand in the post. This time making a right-hand hook. His nickname of Reverse Zoolander (can’t turn right) may have to be thrown out this season.

After taking 18 shots in 21 minutes in the last game, he took 15 in 22 minutes in this one with so many of those attempts being set up by Evans out of the pick and roll. You’d like to see Sabonis hit more of his shots (7 for 18, 7 for 15 in last two games) but he’s got an easy double double in every preseason game while playing just a little over 20 minutes each night.

Seeing how this develops into the regular season will be interesting to see.

No additional injuries added to this list

The Pacers have been dealing with a lot of minor injuries among rotation players during the preseason and seemed to avoid any additions to that list and had no major injuries once again. Tony East of 8 points, 9 seconds reported that Thad Young will be back for the regular season opener but held out in the final preseason game so hopefully the Pacers will be at full strength when the season starts.

Preseason Takeaways: Lessons from Pacers overtime loss to Grizzlies

The Indiana Pacers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in their second preseason game last night, but the result of the exhibition match doesn’t matter. With the Pacers resting all five starters, it was a chance for the young guys to get lots of minutes and show whether or not they belonged, and it was an opportunity for the bench unit to develop some chemistry with each other.

Here’s what we learned from Game 2:

Tyreke Evans and Domas Sabonis pick and rolls will be a delight:

These two have quickly developed a rapport on these type of plays in practice and it showed in their first game action together. Domas Sabonis repeatedly got great looks at the basket thanks to Tyreke Evans’s patience on the play, waiting until the right moment to make a quick pass to the Lithuanian big man.

Sabonis struggled to finish many of these looks but finished with an impressive 17 points (7 of 18) and 14 rebounds in only 21 minutes. Evans struggled to make shots as well but still finished with 12 points (3 for 11), 6 rebounds and 3 assists. It should be a blast watching these two run the pick and roll all season.

Evans had some chemistry miscues early with expecting players to go one way and going another or not being ready for a pass from Sabonis but it was good to get those kind of mistakes out of the way in preseason.

Continue reading Preseason Takeaways: Lessons from Pacers overtime loss to Grizzlies

What mattered in the Indiana Pacers preseason win over the Houston Rockets

Drawing conclusions from a preseason game is dubious, but after the Indiana Pacers preseason win over the Houston Rockets (110-100), we can all agree on one thing: it’s good to have Pacers basketball back.

Though much of the preseason is meaningless there are still a few takeaways that could be meaningful once the games actually matter.

Edmond Sumner looks like an NBA player

Easily the highlight of the game for Indiana was the play of their second-year, two-way contract guard Edmond Sumner.

Sumner filled in for Tyreke Evans, who missed the game with a sprained ankle and played 19 minutes that showed off his athleticism and potential.

Sumner played Evans’s role well and made some impressive drives to the rim throughout the game. His biggest highlight a dunk along the baseline in the first half as he got his first poster of his NBA career.  Continue reading What mattered in the Indiana Pacers preseason win over the Houston Rockets

“Experienced” Pacers all have something to prove in Summer League

This season the Indiana Pacers start Summer League play Friday at 3:00. This will be the first time they play in Las Vegas as the each NBA team will be participating.

These exhibition games are basically meaningless but not without purpose, especially for the players with varying motivations: proving their worth as a recent draft pick, looking to show how much they’ve improved from their previous season, or just hoping to show they belong in the NBA whether with a roster spot, a 2-way contract or a training camp invite.

In this series of articles coming before Summer League begins for Indiana on Friday, we’ll take a look at many of the players on the roster and what they will be looking to prove in Sin City.

In part one, we looked at the rookies, Aaron Holiday and Alize Johnson, and what to watch for in their professional debuts.

Today, we look at the four players that were members of the Indiana Pacers last season: T.J. Leaf, Alex Poythress, Edmond Sumner and Ben Moore. All four of these players will be in the starting lineup joined by first-round pick Holiday and receive lots of minutes in Vegas. Ike Anigbogu will miss these exhibitions with an injury.

All of these guys have been working out in Indianapolis since the season ended and sound excited to show how they’ve improved and grown.

While it’s important to never overreact positively or negatively to anything that happens in these games, “veterans” in the summer league can make a difference in their careers in both bad and good ways:

  • Solomon Hill played so poorly in his third Summer League by seemingly blowing it off that it may have pushed the Pacers to decline his team option for the fourth season on his rookie contract. It ended up working out pretty well for Hill as he played the best basketball of his life the last few months of that season and hit free agency during the madness of 2016 and got a $50+ million deal from the Pelicans (He hasn’t looked good since joining New Orleans).
  • Glenn Robinson III played very well a few years ago in the Orlando Summer League and solidified his place in the rotation that season and had the best year of his career.
  • Donald Sloan and Rasual Butler both earned roster spots on the team and their auditions both started at the Summer League.

You want to see these guys play above the competition having had the experience of a full season with an NBA team.  Continue reading “Experienced” Pacers all have something to prove in Summer League