It’s only preseason, but the Indiana Pacers showed us a little of what was possible for them this season. While most of it was good, there are a few reasons to worry as well.
It’s easy to write off anything good about a pair of preseason games, especially when two teams are playing far, far from home, but with a new roster for the Indiana Pacers, we’re at least getting a glimpse of what’s possible.
T.J. Warren won’t shoot 5 of 6 from deep every night — he shot 1 for 4 after getting us drunk on expectations in his first preseason game. We also saw him lost on defense several times, but that’s not why the Pacers brought him in, as they knew that was a liability of his.
Warren is a microcosm of the Pacers’ situation at the moment. There are great possibilities in what he and many of the new (and old) members of the team add, but we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t look at the negatives as well.
The Sabonis-Turner pairing is still fraught with danger
No matter where you put one of them, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis are both effectively centers. We saw them both try to play the position as such more than once in the two games.
Some of those mistakes will fix themselves over time as they adjust to not always being the ‘real’ center on the court but expect to see that happen from time to time until further notice.
Turner is better at recovering when he gets caught out of place, but that might just mean teams will look to make sure they can force Sabonis to be the one having to show and recover back to the basket.
It’s my biggest fear for the Pacers this season — that in the long-run, the duo can’t work together — but they did show some adaptations, too. Continue reading India Pacers showed us what is possible — both good and bad
One of the best ways for a small market team to get better from year to year is improvement from their young players. The Indiana Pacers made a lot of changes to the roster and made valuable additions over the summer via trade and free agency but there’s some open rotation spots that will be filled by some unproven prospects.
Opportunities are open for the taking especially while Victor Oladipo is out. Young players like Aaron Holiday, T.J. Leaf, Edmond Sumner, and Goga Bitadze could all be part of the bench unit early in the season but which players on the roster could be poised for a mini-breakout?
Holiday is penciled in as the backup point guard but he’s got a lot to prove about being ready to run an NBA offense after mostly playing off the ball in his rookie season. He struggled to efficiently produce and take care of the ball in Summer League but it’s hard to judge any player too harshly based on those exhibition games especially with a roster with both a lack of shooting and size. Continue reading Which Pacers prospects look poised for a breakout?
The Indiana Pacers were blown out by the Memphis Grizzlies in their first Summer League game by a final of 101-75.
For the Pacers, this game featured a lot of the bad that can come with Summer League. They looked like a team that was unfamiliar with each other. Guys hunted their own looks as ball movement was at a minimum. Sloppy turnovers occurred throughout. It was an ugly game to watch.
There were some positives to takeaway from tonight but it certainly wasn’t Game 82 from last year (which featured a few of these Summer Pacers) on repeat like you’d have hoped. No Goga Bitadze in this one and at least the next one most likely as he continues to try and get his visa issues sorted.
As always, it’s important not to over value anything that happens in Summer League, good or bad, but here’s what was observed in this one:
Holiday was one of few positives in this one as a scoring machine. He had 24 points and showed off his ability to create his own shot but ended the night shooting an inefficient 8 for 22. Continue reading Takeaways from Pacers Summer League in an ugly opener
Indiana Pacers start their Summer League play on Saturday in Las Vegas. It’s a chance to see the rookies Goga Bitadze (if his visa issues are worked out) and Brian Bowen II for the first time in the blue and gold and to watch for a lot of the team’s younger players (Aaron Holiday, Edmond Sumner, and Alize Johnson) in larger roles than the normally have as they try to make their case for more playing time.
The results of the games may be meaningless but you can gain some insight by what happens during them. It’s always important to never overreact to anything good or bad during Summer League. A good week in Vegas doesn’t mean a player is destined for stardom and a bad week doesn’t mean they are doomed to be a bust. It can be a positive or negative sign for the player’s career certainly but it’s not definitive proof one way or another.
These games do have real consequences. Solomon Hill is the biggest example of that for the Pacers. Hill played so poorly in his third trip to the Orlando Summer League in 2015 that it likely factored into the team’s choice to decline the team option on the fourth season of his rookie contract. It ended up working out great for Hill, who ended up with a huge payday from the Pelicans after a half season of solid shooting, but these games help inform team’s decisions and guys are playing for their NBA lives in many cases.
The Pacers are scheduled for four games in Las Vegas and will play a minimum of five games, depending on how they do once tournament play begins. Many of the players that are likely to be on Indiana’s roster may only play those first four games, perhaps only three.
- Saturday, July 6: Grizzlies at 7:00 p.m. on NBATV
- Monday, July 8: Pistons at 5:00 p.m. on ESPNU
- Tuesday, July 9: Hawks at 5:30 p.m. on NBATV
- Thursday, July 11: Raptors at 6:00 p.m. on NBATV
The Pacers first-round pick hasn’t been able to practice with the rest of the Summer League squad because of visa issues, but the hope is that he’ll be able to meet the team in Las Vegas to play at least a few games.
This would be the first chance for most Pacers fans to see the rookie in game action since he played professionally in Europe. In Europe, he was dominant as a teenager. He won the Adriatic League MVP award in 2019 and won the EuroLeague Rising Star and Adriatic League Top Prospect awards as well. Continue reading What to watch for during Pacers Summer League
The Indiana Pacers have added Edmond Sumner to their NBA roster with a 2-year deal with a team option on the second year according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
“Stuck with it through the ups and the downs. And left it up to God. It’s a blessing man. Journey has been crazy but it’s not over,” Sumner wrote on Instagram.
Sumner was previously on a 2-way contract which limits the amount of time that he can spend with the Pacers to 45 days. His 45 days were likely up and the Pacers signed him to the 2-year deal in lieu of converting the contract for just the rest of this season.
Sumner has shown flashes of potential throughout the season, highlighted by his 17-point game against the Lakers earlier this week. He was sensational for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, averaging 23.9 points per game on 50% shooting overall and 40% from 3-point range. And he plays well on the other end too.
The contract gives the Pacers flexibility with their prospect. They can decline the team option this season but then offer him a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent or if they exercise his team option, he’ll be a restricted free agent the next season. If the Pacers want to keep him around, it should be easy to do so for the foreseeable future.
This puts the team at 15 guaranteed contracts after the addition of Wes Matthews which means the Pacers will likely not be adding anyone else to the team during the season.
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. Continue reading Pacers Edmond Sumner is ready for his opportunity
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. Continue reading Preseason Takeaways: Pacers look ready for the regular season against Cavaliers
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
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