The Indiana Pacers move to 2-0 in the Orlando Summer League after defeating the Charlotte Hornets. Indiana picked up six of the eight available points, pushing ahead for good in the second quarter, thanks in large part to Trey McKinney-Jones, who had seven of his nine points in a 10-2 run that put Indiana ahead for good.
Wins are nice in any setting, but much of today was focused on the debut of the Pacers’ first round draft pick T.J. Leaf. Leaf started slow, but began to settle into the game in the second quarter, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes, hitting a corner three.
Leaf looked capable, but how he plays against other NBA-level bigs will be difficult to gauge through this Summer League. Today’s game included a stretch against Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski, who dwarfed Leaf in size. Leaf eventually figured out the matchup, coming up with a late bucket between the two.
Leaf’s second half was encouraging; he scored seven points after the break, but it was easier to see his comfort level with the game. The rest of the Summer League will be an interesting test for Leaf so to speak, as the Pacers will look to see if he can make an impact on the game early and often as opposed to just later.
Joe Young had a better game today himself, scoring 14 points and dishing seven assists, minimizing his miscues, committing just three turnovers. His prospects as a point guard may remain murky, but he found guys throughout the game, assisting to five different players.
The player Young found the most often was Travis Leslie, who once again led all scorers with 20 points. Leslie not only did so on another solid shooting effort (8-15), but led all players with three offensive rebounds, which he converted into six points. Leslie enters the Summer League at 27, but has played as he should; a veteran among rookies.
The other double figure scorers for the game were Chris Johnson and Jarnell Stokes, who scored 10 and 11 points respectively go along with seven rebounds apiece. Stokes wasn’t the impact player he was yesterday, but did convert on one of his two offensive rebounds.
The Pacers will pass the halfway point of Orlando Summer League action tomorrow when they face the winless Miami Heat at 5 p.m.