On Monday, the Indiana Pacers began their NBA Summer League play in Orlando, with a feisty and sloppy 69-63 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Monday’s ugly win marked the debut of Indiana’s top two 2012 NBA Draft picks, as well as undrafted players and players who have spent time in the NBA Developmental League and overseas.
Indiana’s team consisted of third-year guard Lance Stephenson, second-year forward Jeff Pendergraph, first round draft pick center Miles Plumlee, as well as second round draft pick, guard Orlando Johnson. Also featured on the team was guard Ben Hansbrough, (Brother of Indiana Pacer Tyler Hansbrough) who went undrafted in 2011, but was the Big East Player of the Year in 2010.
Plumlee, whose drafting by the Pacers has been poo-pooed and questioned, played a solid game. Plumlee had ten rebounds to go with nine points scored. The debut of the day however, belonged to Orlando Johnson. Johnson attacked the basket nearly every time he touched the ball, with mixed results. The dynamic guard scored a game-high 19 points, but hit only six out of his 22 shots. The second round pick, who was traded to Indiana for cash by the Sacramento Kings on draft night, also added two assists and nine rebounds to his interesting stat line.
The game began and ended sloppy, with only 57 total points being scored in the first half, and a slew of deep shots flying all over near the end of the game. Indiana’s lead was up to eight at one point late in the game, but they could never quite put the 76ers away. The Pacers return to play on Tuesday afternoon.