There's been lots of great coverage on the Indiana Pacers summer camp at the Fieldhouse over the past few days and a common thread among those on hand to watch is high praise for the rookie draft picks.
Coaches, Jim O'Brien and Frank Vogel will normally offer a positive spin, but they've raved at different times about the effort and talent level of Paul George, Lance Stephenson and Magnum Rolle. Bruno's post-camp assessment captured that sentiment with this quote from assistant coach, Frank Vogel who has run a couple of the practice sessions in Jim O'Brien's absensce.
"I know coach (Jim O'Brien) said Magnum was the best player by far but in the first two scrimmages Magnum had 18 points and (George) had 16 and Paul was every bit as responsible for getting his team off to a 36-point quarter," said Vogel. "Since then, he's been at the worst very steady. Since he's been playing with Lance, Lance and him have a lot of good chemistry together. Lance makes sure he sees him. So Paul's coming along very well, as well."
Then this morning I read a blog post from Mike Wellson the great start so far for all three rookies. Can't blame Wells for being starved for positive news to report but he's not one to throw around praise for the Pacers to make things easier on the folks at the Fieldhouse. Good, bad or indifferent, Wells just reports what he sees, so graph like the following on first-round pick Paul George raised my eyebrow.
The young fella has a smooth game. He's aggressive on offense. He nailed 3-pointers from the same spot on the court on three straight possessions during a scrimmage early Sunday morning. We'll talk about who dished the ball to him on those plays in a little bit.
With their pro careers just a few days old, all of the positive news on the rookies shouldn't be misconstrued as a trio of saviors here to save the franchise. The bottom line is, they might be able to help in the future. But hearing varied voices offering praise is far better than reading about young players struggling and needing time to adjust to the NBA-style play and practices. At least today, we get to see them for ourselves.
The Summer Pacers take on the Summer Magic this afternoon at 3:00PM so make sure you drop by for the game thread. Last year was a blast and even though the broadcast is on NBA TV instead of the Dante and Galante handi-cam feed, it should be entertaining for us NBA nuts.
Couple other links of interest:
Bird faces make-or-break season ahead
Bob Kravitz returns from vacation to consider where we stand with Larry Bird and David Morway. Yep, the next 10 months will make or break their tenure. Personally, if things go pretty well I think Bird will be happy to leave things to Morway or (some other GM if Herb Simon so chooses) knowing the roster is headed back in the right direction.
Charlotte gives ex-Tiger Shawne Williams a shot
A few years ago, the Orlando summer league was to be a proving ground for then second-year pro Shawne Williams. Things kinda went down hill from that point for Williams and it appears he'll be back in Orlando this week trying to attract the attention of a team in need. Amazing that he's still only 24. I wonder if he's grown up a little, yet.
Pacers will rue summer
George Bremer comments on the Pacers lack of free agent activity this summer wishing the team could've magically created some cap room to be a player.