Expectations were high for the Pacers coming into their second Summer League game, especially after the tremendous debut from Lance Stephenson.
Tonight was the first real look at Summer League version of Josh McRoberts as the Pacers lost their first Summer League game since 2008, falling 80-69 to the New Jersey Nets. There was no clear champion for the Pacers like yesterday, but there were a lot of solid contributions and red flags being made and thrown for everyone who hit the court.
Yesterday’s hero Stephenson definitely felt the struggles tonight. He suffered two non-related injuries in the first quarter that caused him to be shaken up a bit and he was never fully able to get his game going, but still managed to end up with 15. Despite the point total, Stephenson didn't have nearly the game he did yesterday. The scapegoat of the game had to fall to McRoberts, who seemed to sulk his way to a pretty substandard game, which included 12 three point attempts and countless signs of frustration with his teammates.
After a serviceable first half, Paul George came to life in the third quarter, compiling four steals amongst some active defense. He wasn’t explosive offensively, but his play on the defensive end was tremendous and exciting to watch. Magnum Rolle had an up and down game, often getting bullied by Derrick Favors, but showing some nice work defensively and even getting some results on the offensive end.
It’s not entirely fair to suggest I’m only looking at the four Pacers who are almost expected to be on the roster come November, but it’s just, well…there wasn’t a whole lot worth mentioning outside of those four. Marcus, last names Williams and Landry were able to make some plays, and Darryl Watkins had his moments, but if there was someone to look at beyond the "big four," and there really wasn’t, it would’ve been the quiet and smart play of Thomas Heurtel, who appeared comfortable running the offense in place of Stephenson.
The fall of the Pacers means they’re in a tough spot regarding their well documented (by me) quest for a repeat, but more importantly, game notes after the jump:
- Stephenson ended up with 15 points, but could've also had close to ten assists had every pass he made not consisted of a kick out to Josh McRoberts for an open triple. He played a serviceable point today, but looked rather awkward with the ball in hand.
- Magnum Rolle had an up and down game, but was continuously active on the defensive end chasing blocks. Got caught with a couple of goaltends, but all in all, his work on the defensive end was nice to see even as he ended up on the wrong side of Derrick Favors more than once.
- Speaking of work defensively, Paul George's third quarter was everything we should hope to see come the regular season. Though his results weren't overly impressive offensively, his ability to set up teammates and forcing turnovers was impossible to count out.
- Jim O'Brien spent some time chatting and we learned his hatred for nicknames (coldest "We don't call him Psycho-T." I've ever heard), praise for Josh McRoberts's game (as he launched his sixth or seventh three pointer), and general chatter. Obie gave us very little we hadn't heard before, but he remained consistent with his ideals.
- Chris Kramer didn't see the floor today, not a good sign for the Boilermaker.
- Pacers shot just 38.8%, but did offer up a reminiscent 6-26 from three point land, including McRoberts's dismal 2-12. Paul George added to the bleeding by going 0-7.
- Paul George ended up with 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 steals (the latter tying an Orlando Summer League record). All in all, a tremendously productive night overall for 2 Much 4 U, even if he did commit five turnovers. George also found himself involved directly or second hand in a number of slam dunks, none of which sadly involved Josh.
- Two headed monster of Damion Jones and Terrence Williams pushed the Nets to the victory. They do have some good youth there.
- Pacers, Nets box score: http://www.nba.com/magic/photos/Game_8_Box_Score070610.pdf
- As mentioned, it was a quiet night for everyone who wasn't previously involved with the organization prior to the Summer League. If the quiet play of Thomas Heurtel is about as good as it gets, you can probably assume the chances of these guys making the team is extremely low. There are still three games left to make an impact, however.