While I was ready for the tipoff in the third day of Orlando Summer League action between the Indiana Pacers and the Utah Jazz, my DVR and I both missed a very important factor to the game: they weren't playing each other today. Suffice to say, when I saw the score at the end of the first quarter, I had made a grave error. Alas, the game thread was just as active today, providing front row visuals for anyone who hasn't had the opportunity to watch either today's game or any game in the summer league thus far.
In addition to the game, where the Pacers just lost their chance at another Orlando Summer League Championship, Evan Dunlap breaks down a lot of the positives and negatives falling on the Pacers shoulders. On Miles Plumlee, Evan had plenty of praise:
The Pacers surprised NBA fans on Draft night when they selected Miles Plumlee out of Duke, who averaged just 6.6 points per game in his senior season. Plumlee led the Pacers with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. He also contributed eight boards and three blocked shots. Two of those blocks probably should have been called goaltends, however, including a Sullinger floater that Plumlee swatted after it had hit the backboard.
Hey! I missed that? Certainly, Plumlee moving closer to gaining the "most consistent" player award for the Pacers this Summer League following the Lance Stephenson sequel gives Larry Bird just a little more reason to be pleased with the pick. The Pacers touted Plumlee as a player who was ready to play immediately, and he has shown a lot of that through the first three games. A better offensive touch than previously given credit for and a rebounding game that is, at the very least, there, unlike Orlando Johnson's touted offensive game.
Speaking of Orlando Johnson, he has yet to really showcase the shooting abilities that got him recognition. It would be easy to say Johnson may not be a player that translates, but getting solid looks and continuing to reach the free throw line doesn't suggest a lack of ability to translate into the pro game, but more that Johnson may have picked the worst time to go ice cold. His 3-14 shooting performance brings him to 8-43 shooting through three games.
Outside of the focus players, Julian Mayunga continued to turn heads with another solid performance. Depending on how the rest of the week pans out for him, it may not be unwise for the Pacers to extend a training camp invitation. While highly unlikely he'd make the team, it would still give a worthy performance a fair shot at making an impression against the Pacers' A-listers.
Ultimately, the disappointment in Lance Stephenson's game today, where he adjusted late, but still forced the action far too often, is hard to overshadow. It's not like five quality games in five days should be the bar for Stephenson, especially when he's coming off a pair of nice games, but given the amount of questioning for his decision making one day after making all of the right decisions, it does help curb the expectations on Lance to a degree.
Indiana will have a chance to bounce back tomorrow against the Jazz, and I'm prepared to not have a follow-up myself that causes me to miss a potential showcase performance. In the meantime, if you, like myself, missed the action in today's game, catch up with NBA.com to also get a glimpse of the performances three former Purdue Boilermakers had.