Summer League: Pacers 96, Sixers 75
July 8, 2013
ORLANDO – Some days you have it, others you don’t. A new day and another game in the Orlando Summer League allowed the Pacers to prove that their poor shooting Sunday was an anomaly.
The Pacers shot 52.5 percent, connected on 13 of their first 14 attempts from long-range and nailed 17-of-18 foul shots in a 96-75 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
“It’s amazing how shots can fall in when they’re taken in the rhythm of the offense,” said Pacers Summer League head coach Dan Burke. “Extra pass, pass up a so-so shot for a better shot, and getting the ball up the court early and attacking.”
The Pacers began to grab hold of the game late in the first quarter, using a 10-2 run that included a layup, pair of triples, and two free throws. They were effective in every aspect of the game and their body language reflected that. Nerves were obvious in the first game, with guys trying to secure a roster spot playing together for the first time in front of NBA executives, coaches and scouts.
Photo Gallery: Pacers 96, Sixers 75 »
“It looked like they had more fun today,” Burke continued. “I just think they were looser and they looked like they had been playing together for a week. Last night it looked like the first time we saw each other.”
Rookie Solomon Hill echoed coach’s thoughts.
“We had fun,” he said. “I think [in the] second half we really broke it open. We was able to get some runs and slow them down from what they wanted to do. Then, they started to be more robotic with their offense and we were able to get a read on it.”
Hill finished with a team-high 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting, nine rebounds and four assists. He showed off his versatility, knocking down four shots from behind the arc, scoring on put-backs and by also taking the ball the length of the floor.
“Solomon was steady,” said Burke. “What I like about him is that he’s got this quiet confidence and he doesn’t get raddle. He’s got this fire inside where he’s pushing himself and his determination stayed strong. He’s showing us multiple skills.
One NBA scout on Hill: “Solomon’s going to get some minutes next year. Not two years down the road. Next year.”
But it wasn’t just Hill Monday afternoon. Five Pacers scored in double figures. Miles Plumlee recorded a double-double, 16 points and 15 rebounds, which tied for the Summer League high. Micah Downs, a sharpshooter who last played in the D-League, buried 4-of-5 3-pointers and closed with 14 points.
“When you get that fluency in your offense, everybody gets to get some and it makes it fun for everybody,” Hill added.
Plumlee had another All-Summer League type of game. Defensively, he was talking, had active hands and altered nearly a dozen shots. You can be sure the opponents know where he is at all times because he stands tall in the lane ready to swat at everything that comes his way. Team officials don’t want to pigeonhole him into one position, so looking forward to the regular season, he could get time at both power forward and center.
The Pacers blew this game open in the third period, outscoring the 76ers by 10 points. The jitters were no longer there and a feel to the game was obvious, allowing the entire team to “get some.”
“You find the open man and it could be a simple game,” Burke said.
The Pacers are next in action on Tuesday at 11 a.m. against the Boston Celtics.
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