A short rotation for the Indiana Pacers didn't help matters much in the 7th Place Game of the Orlando Summer League, as the Pacers were waxed by the Orlando Blue to finish up Summer League play at a dismal 1-4. The Pacers shot just 37.8% and allowed the Magic affiliate to shoot nearly 50% in a game that was effectively a no show from the get go, as the Blue jumped up 10-1 to open the game.
With Trent Lockett leaving action early in the second quarter with an injury, that left Indiana's rotation just six deep, allowing unrestricted access to Joe Young, allowing him to shoot the ball at will. Young had 16 at halftime, as part of his 28 point game, shooting 11-23 from the floor. Young hit some tough shots getting there, but was just 1-5 from three point range, and 5-8 from the free throw line.
But while Young mostly got his despite the score (though Young did help fuel a comeback in the second quarter), he received little help. Jon Octeus scored 11 points and was the only member of the Pacers to shoot 50% from the floor, going 5-10. Jarrell Eddie scored 11 as well off the bench, totaling all three members of the Pacers to reach double figures.
As for the rest of the squad, Christian Watford struggled shooting the ball in his second straight start, but did pull in 10 boards to go with his seven points. Amath M'Baye scored nine his debut for the Pacers with DaVonte Lacy scoring six in his first start with Indiana.
The Pacers' Summer League wasn't a success in terms of wins and losses, but did provide plenty of hope with regards to the potential success of Indiana's 2015 draft class. Myles Turner was a big player in all three of his outings while Young averaged 27.0 points per game in his final three games. Young's play in the Summer League alone could create interest within Indiana's guard rotation assuming Indiana plans to keep him.
The Pacers signing Rodney Stuckey and Monta Ellis does make Young something of an odd man out. No doubt the plan would be to use him more in a point guard role, but he's shown in this Summer League to be a scorer more than a distributor. That would give Indiana three guards who can successfully get theirs above all else. Young doesn't seem to fit a need, or rather, Stuckey and Ellis may prevent Young from fitting that need.
For Turner, the lack of front court bodies will create plenty of opportunities for him, but while the NBA game will still create its own adjustment period for Turner, there's nothing in his Summer League play to suggest he can't be a big time contributor. The hanging chad in the entire Summer League was the awkwardly forgettable play of Solomon Hill, who made about as much impact in the two games he didn't play as the three games he suited up for.
While it's not worth fretting too much over Summer League performances, the lack of impact from Hill was at the very least concerning. As a guy with real NBA experience; a guy who played a full 82-game slate last season, there was little reason for his Summer League to go as poorly as it did. The next three months will be crucial for Hill to show that he's not only not the worst Hill on the Pacers (and apparently the entire league), but that he's capable of becoming a real time rotation player in the NBA.
Beyond those three (and some flashes from Shayne Whittington), it's mostly a case of "good luck" to the players who suited up for the Pacers in the Summer League. Their efforts won't be forgotten, though it will be hard to find roster spots from even the brightest spots, including Eddie and Arinze Onuaku. But it was a Summer League that was far more intriguing for Pacers fans than last year's, which is a positive even if the record was not.