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Pacers Close Summer League With Loss

The Summer Pacers finished their Orlando Summer League experience with an early afternoon loss to the New Jersey Nets, 107-99. Nets top pick, Brook Lopez finished an impressive week with 25 points and 13 rebs. For the Pacers, Stephen Graham bounced back from his 0-9 shooting effort last night to finish with 16 points making 6 of 9 shots from the floor.

Ws and Ls are meaningless in any NBA summer league. Player performance is a little more valuable but never an indication of future success. It's not so much about answering questions regarding a player as it is gathering information to input into a longer equation that will spit out the answer (opening night roster) by the end of the offseason.

So what information did we gather while we listened to Dante and Galante blather? Here are a few nuggets of info that stuck out for me:

  • Pending further roster moves, I can see six solid training camp invitees emerging from this group. Note I said invitees, not guys I think will be on the roster. That number doesn't include Shawne Williams and Stephen Graham, of course. The six are: Earl Calloway, Courntney Sims, Josh Davis, Andre Emmett, Aleks Meric, and Vladmir Golubovic (most misspelled name in Orlando)
  • Earl Calloway's play at PG stuck out, not due to any flashy performances, but because he was consistently solid. He has good size at 6'3" and long. Quick enough to get into the paint and make plays. The Pacers appear set at PG, but Calloway deserves a long look and may give the front office a little more flexibility when trying to construct other deals this summer.
  • I checked with D-League guru Matt from Ridiculous Upside (and several other blogs, somehow the guy has figured out how to make his days 30 hours long) and while Calloway played for the Mad Ants (Pacers' D-League affiliate in Fort Wayne) they have no claim to his services. With several other NBA teams looking for PG help, I would think Earl may want to go to camp with a team that didn't have so many PGs clogging the roster. Of course, he did agree to play summer league with the Pacers and they've been following him closely, so maybe there is more to the story.
  • Josh Davis is a nice active front court player. He reminds me of a burly Austin Croshere in that he's active, gets in the mix, can step out and knock down open shots, and is a little undersized. He doesn't shoot as well as Cro, but he can bang bodies more effectively.
  • Courtney Sims is more of a known quantity to the Pacers since he was on the roster to start last season. He didn't stun and amaze, but played his expected, consistent game. In fact, his minutes waned throughout the week as the Pacers gave other bigs a longer look.
  • Aleks Meric and Vladmir Golubovic are two centers in need of more development, but they have great size and enough talent to deserve additional interest.
  • Andre Emmett pushed for more playing time throughout the week with his strong game. As an off guard, there's no room on the roster, but the Bob Knight-trained Emmett went to work in Orlando at both ends of the floor. When I say strong game I mean it. He's assertive with the ball, can take a bump and get his shots off.
  • I'm a little disappointed with the play of Stephen Graham and Shawne Williams. Falling back on the, "it's only summer league" excuse helps, but both players were too up and down for my taste. Graham will have to play better to emerge from the logjam at his position to increase his minutes in the regular season.
  • Shawne had his moments of great play but was nowhere near the stand out player of the week coach Lester Conner was hoping to see in Orlando. With the passing of this summer league session, Shawne is officially out of excuses. Yes he's still young,  but heading into year three we need to see bigger strides in his development. I'm hopeful to see him put it all together this year, but if not I'm through giving him a pass.
  • PG Justin Gray is another guy who could earn a camp invite. He did a nice job taking care of the ball and running things from the point. He's a step behind Calloway,  though, and considering the PG situation he may look for a more favorable situation.
  • David Teague and Stanley Burrell saw very limited playing time. Teague will likely continue his hoop journey in Europe. Burrell may want to go the D-League route for a couple of years and show what he can do as his game matures.

Now that summer league is over, we can look forward to a PR week as the Pacers welcome the seven new players acquired a couple of weeks ago. Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert will be introduced at 2:00PM on Tuesday. TJ Ford, Jarret Jack, Josh McRoberts and Jarrett Jack will be introduced on Wednesday at 11:00AM. Rasho Nesterovic is out of the country so he won't be involved in the presser.