If the first 20 minutes of the Orlando Summer League opener between the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets was any indication, it was almost as if you could feel Larry Bird warming up another "that was a waste of a week" line. The Pacers, turnover prone and at a severe talent deficiency, were rocked in the first half by the Nets. The Pacers had 14 first half turnovers, trailed 29-11 after the first quarter and 58-27 at the break.
Things brightened up for the Pacers, at least marginally, in the second half, as the team went to close a game high 32 point gap to 20 by game's end, salvaging themselves in the Summer League standings with a two point effort for winning both the third and fourth quarter. The collective play of the Pacers, especially in the first half, didn't lend a whole lot of positives towards individual performances, but the Pacers at least made efforts to adjust heading into the second half, upping a pathetic paint showing and getting 54 second half points.
Donald Sloan was the best player for the Pacers, scoring 10 fourth quarter points as part of his team high 21. Sloan led the way in getting to the, hitting nine of his 11 attempts. Much of his play was a result of simply having to carry the team and lift them up from really having no way to match up with the level of talent the Nets had, much less their production. One thing the Pacers did do exceptionally well was get to the line, attempting 44 free throws, though the Nets themselves had 34 in a game where 62 fouls were whistled.
Mason Plumlee had very little resistance against a Pacers defense that wasn't exactly ferocious, scoring 23 on 8-11 shooting, with seven rebounds, three on the offensive glass as part of 13 for the Nets. Kevin Jones led the way for Indiana on the glass with eight, while Sloan led the assist numbers with just three. Frank Graines had three steals with nine points. Jake Odum out of Indiana State provided one of the brightest spots for the Pacers, scoring 10 points off the bench, hitting a pair of threes and all four of his free throw attempts.
All things told, this wasn't all that positive of a showing for the Pacers in their first Summer League game, but an absurdly early tip time (9:00 a.m. Eastern time) and a Nets team that does feature much more talent than the Pacers provided all played their part in the thrashing Indiana took on today. Indiana will not play tomorrow, but will tip off Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. EDT against the Boston Celtics in what hopes to provide a slightly better showing from Indiana.