Outside of the Orlando Summer League, the Pacers roster moves have been frenzied and frequent in the past twenty-four hours. But away from Indianapolis, the young and the hopeful took the floor with an opportunity to erase yesterday's loss to Boston and improve against the Utah Jazz. Lance Stephenson was given the day off, giving Ben Hansbrough the start for the Pacers.
Indiana trailed most of the way, eventually falling short at the very end despite keeping the game within striking distance. It was Indiana's inability to get of the 3-5 point wall that eventually led to them taking on another loss. Without Stephenson, the Pacers were missing a dynamic piece that could've made a big difference, but guys played well enough to keep the team within distance and still give themselves an opportunity to win late despite the playmaking abilities of the Jazz.
Miles Plumlee continued his quality level of play with a 15-point effort to go along 7 rebounds. Plumlee got his points on 6-7 shooting. On the defensive end, Enes Kanter did plenty of work on Plumlee, but the two took it to each other the entire game. So while it would've been nice to see Plumlee stuff Kanter, the willingness he had to attack Kanter and not back down when the matchup proved tough was a nice touch to another quality showcase.
Ben Hansbrough had his best game of the summer league, leading the Pacers in scoring with 18 points, also dishing a team high 4 assists. The offense was more fluid under Hansbrough than it had been earlier in the week, but the difference in skill set was clear between the him and Stephenson. It was nice to see Hansbrough provide some redemption after a fairly rough week.
Speaking of rough weeks, Orlando Johnson continued to struggle shooting, but he looked more active than he did Tuesday and as such, found more success. His ability to get to the rim continued to be his strength, but without any benefit of the whistle, he often seems a little reckless and was blocked numerous times when he was in the post. Johnson has one more Summer League opportunity to break out of his slump, but regardless, he has plenty of work to put in before training camp.
Julian Mavunga continued to play some nice basketball, finishing with 10 points, getting to the free throw line eight times. There hasn't been a bigger surprise than Mavunga on this Pacers team (with the possible exception of Plumlee playing at a higher level than he was expected to), and it would certainly be nice to see Mavunga again when training camp starts.
Check out the box score and highlights on NBA.com and prepare for tomorrow's Orlando Summer League finale against the Brooklyn Nets at 2 p.m. EST. If you haven't had an opportunity to check out the summer league, be sure to make a little time tomorrow as the Pacers look to bounce back and finish 3-2 this year.