Edmond Sumner 2019 Season Review

Pacers guard Edmond Sumner talked about his 2018-19 season and the areas in which he saw his game grow the most. Sumner talked about some of the high points of his year and what he plans to accomplish over the offseason.

Edmond Sumner 2019 Player Review

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Edmond Sumner 2019 Season Review

Pacers guard Edmond Sumner talked about his 2018-19 season and the areas in which he saw his game grow the most. Sumner talked about some of the high points of his year and what he plans to accomplish over the offseason.
May 2, 2019  |  03:20

Edmond Sumner 2018-19 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from Edmond Sumner's 2018-19 season.
May 2, 2019  |  01:00

Sumner Has Career Night vs Lakers

Feb. 5, 2019 - Pacers guard Edmond Sumner scored a career-high 17 points (14 in the fourth quarter) on 7-of-9 shooting in Indiana's 136-94 win over the Lakers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Feb 5, 2019  |  01:10

Player Review 2019: Edmond Sumner

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer

Age: 23
Years Pro: 2
Status: Has one season left on the two-year contract he signed in February to replace his two-way contract
Key Stats: Played in 23 games, starting two. Averaged 2.9 points on 34 percent shooting, and had 10 assists and 10 turnovers. In 26 games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the G League, he averaged 22.1 points on 47 percent shooting, including 36 percent from 3-point range.

Edmond Sumner was practically a ghost a year ago, when his total scoring contribution consisted of a garbage time layup at the end of the season's final regular season game. Until then he had been mostly a rumor, a guy who had been drafted in the second round and occasionally showed up in Indianapolis, but only played actual games in Fort Wayne with the G League Mad Ants.

He emerged this time around, in what wasn't his rookie season technically but was essentially, to display how far he's come — but also how far he has to go.

Sumner is quick, fast, and skinny all of the time, poised most of the time and an offensive threat some of the time. Given his lack of college experience because of the injuries that limited him to 58 games over three seasons at Xavier, his flaws are understandable. The question now is whether they are correctable. If so, the Pacers might have found a gem in the rough in the latter half of the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft that could shine for seasons to come. If not, the risk has been minimal and the intrigue enjoyable.

PHOTO GALLERY: Edmond Sumner's 2018-19 Season in Photos »

Just as in 2018, Sumner's peak moment came in the final game of the regular season. Only this time it wasn't a token two-minute appearance and a layup. This time, he came off the bench to score 22 points and calmly and cleanly swish three free throws with 0.3 seconds left to give the Pacers — who played without four of their starters — a 135-134 victory in Atlanta.

Sumner was fouled while attempting a desperate 3-pointer from the left corner off an inbound pass in that game, and then, with the Pacers trailing by two points, stepped to the line and won the game.

He had played in just 22 games before that game, for an average of 8.2 minutes. But coming through after playing 29 minutes and 45 seconds against the Hawks not only boosted his confidence, it raised the level of confidence in him.

Edmond Sumner

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

"Just wanted to win it for the young guys," he said later. "We talked before the game, we wanted to show everybody we could compete and get a win. I wanted to make sure I could take care of (business) so we all could go celebrate."

It was a dramatically different feeling than he had after his first major NBA opportunity, which happened to be against the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Jan. 28. Called up from Fort Wayne to fill an injury-depleted lineup, Sumner was thrown into the starting lineup. He scored just two points in more than 28 minutes, hitting 1-of-10 shots.

He left better impressions after that, particularly when he scored 17 points in 17 minutes against the Lakers on Feb. 5.

Now, healthy and hardened by experience, he heads into an important off-season of further development.

"I love his speed," coach Nate McMillan said at Wednesday's season-wrap-up press conference. "With his speed, he can defend at the NBA level right now. Offensively, he can attack and create opportunity for himself and for teammates. He just needs to continue to get stronger."

McMillan also likes Sumner's length (6-foot-6) and toughness. Sumner is quiet and polite, but shows mettle in smaller ways, such as his approach to the pickup games before training camp began. Sumner, McMillan said, never wanted to be teamed with the more established players. He wanted to play against them to prove himself.

He put that quiet confidence on public display by hitting those foul shots in Atlanta.

Sumner weighs no more than 185, but his slender build is deceiving. He says the Pacers' training staff considers him one of the strongest players relative to his weight. He plans to become stronger in the offseason and add a few more pounds without compromising his quickness.

Summer League will be important for him, and then he'll go about trying to meet his goal of earning a spot in the playing rotation next season. A year ago that thought would have been laughable. Now, given his performance in the G League, that grand finale to the Pacers' regular season and the roster upheaval likely to occur in the coming months, he can be taken far more seriously.

Have a question for Mark? Want it to be on Pacers.com? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com and you could be featured in his next mailbag.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.


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