While no positives to take from the final score of the Orlando Summer league debut between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, there were plenty to see in Indiana's first round pick Myles Turner. Turner made a big splash in his debut, leading the Pacers in points, rebounds, and blocks. In the game itself, the Pacers struggled early and often, falling into a double digit hole in the first quarter.
They made it a game with Miami in the second quarter, but never managed to overtake the Heat, leading to a third quarter blowout that set their fates in the loss column for the day. The Pacers shot well at 45.3%, but 25 turnovers and shooting 22 less free throws did them no favors. All was not lost as far as the Summer League itself goes. The Pacers won the second and fourth quarter, earning them two points on the day, a reasonable outcome for a pretty poor showing in that regard.
But with Summer League, the outcome of games isn't so much the focal point as the individual performances, and that's where Turner made a real impact on the game. Turner had 20 points on 8-11 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds and coming up with three blocks. Turner found his shot in a variety of ways today, but his bread and butter was on this turn around jumper, hitting three in the first half.
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Turner put in a three and followed up a pair of misses with timely put backs. Turner had four of his five fouls in the first half, but was active around the rim on defense, to the point where he was picking up those fouls. If nothing else, Turner made an impact on the defensive end, chasing shots to create his blocks and forcing the Heat to work around his size.
The other thing with watching Turner is to see his "awkward running style," something Candace Buckner along with everyone watching seemed to share a similar sentiment in there not being anything particularly strange about his style of running. But much of that could also have the familiarity of Roy Hibbert's running style, something that's been far from graceful over his tenure with Indiana.
Jarrell Eddie was a big spark for the Pacers as well, scoring 16 points with four three pointers. Eddie was successful in finding his shot all game, and could become the surprise of the Summer League if he continues to play to this level. He had six rebounds, but sacrificed himself on hustle plays.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the day was Solomon Hill. Hill shot 1-10 from the floor; not a tell all given the 9 a.m. start time, but still disappointing in him not showing anything we haven't already seen in regards to his shot. Hill's best success scoring the ball came from driving, but even then, that wasn't a guaranteed look, with him getting sent away late in the game.
Hill had just four points, but will have the rest of Summer League to show a little more on the offensive end, but leading into what amounts to a make or break year for Hill, it'll be interesting to see if today was a case of a bad shooting game and if he's made any progress on his shot at all.
Shayne Whittington as well didn't show a great deal in his first game of Summer League early, but came around a bit late, scoring eight points on 3-8 shooting, leading Indiana in FT attempts with four (which of course is both noteworthy and concerning). Trent Lockett would lead Indiana off the bench with 10 points, hitting a pair of threes.
Turnovers were an issue for the Pacers, with 14 of their 25 coming from the trio of Mantas Kalnietis, Jon Octeus, and Arinze Onuaku. While all three offered some positives throughout the game, such as Kalnietis's eight assists, Octeus leading the team (with Lockett) with two steals, and Onuaku coming on strong at the end of the game with a couple of nice plays, the turnovers mounted for Indiana and cost them any opportunity they had to actually win the game today.
That's not to pile things entirely on those three, there were still 11 extra turnovers, including three from Whittington, and a pair each from Eddie, Hill, and Lockett, but it should look to be a point of emphasis for the team moving forward. The Pacers will tip off 1 p.m. Eastern on Monday to face the Orlando White.