Magic Drop Summer League Opener to Pacers 86-77

Orlando opened the AirTran Pro Summer League by struggling offensively in the first half and digging a deep, deep hole. The Magic cut the Pacers’ lead to three in the third quarter, but saw the Pacers extend it back to 10 by the end of the frame and cruise to a 86-77 win Monday at RDV Sportsplex.

Daniel Orton: Orton struggled mightily in this one to convert and make an impact. He picked up three offensive fouls within the first four minutes and made only one of his eight shots. He finished with three points, three rebounds, five fouls and four turnovers. Orton fought hard to establish good post position throughout the game, but seemed to rush too much once he received the ball and faced aggressive double teams. He got plenty of good looks and just missed them.

In that sense, the Magic’s first round pick did a good job. Hopefully after working off the nerves, he can return tomorrow with a better effort. The bad news was he was ejected in the third quarter (after just 13:28) after getting into a shoving match with Josh McRoberts (10 points, two rebounds). Not encouraging to see his emotions and frustrations get the better of him.

Stanley Robinson: Orlando’s second round pick did nothing really spectacular, but also nothing really horrible either. Robinson showed off his athleticism with a big put back dunk in the second quarter, but also played very much within himself. If this guy wants to make the team he will have to assert himself a little bit more (not force anything, mind you) and show what he can do. He finished the game with four points on one-of-four shooting and seven rebounds.

Patrick Ewing Jr.: Summer league coach Patrick Ewing’s son really went out and tested his repaired knee today. Ewing was not afraid to put up jumpers and did so in bunches. Making them was another issue, as his shot came and went.

But especially early on when Orlando seemed very tentative, Ewing was aggressive and willing to take on some offensive responsibility. He scored 15 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Ewing took a bunch of off-balance shots and you can question his shot selection all night long, but he was the most aggressive player offensive on the floor. Not enough to make you say give him a contract today, but even Otis Smith admitted to The Orlando Sentinel’s Tania Ganguli that he could be the most talented player on the roster.

Keep an eye on him this week. He did not have the best game of his life, but let’s see if he can better it tomorrow.

Donnell Taylor: Taylor played pretty well and did a good job pacing the Magic in the third quarter as they cut into the lead. He caught fire on his way to shooting five for 11 and scoring 12 points. He hit a couple of three pointers and generally played good defense. Interesting to see what else he does this week.

Jerome Randle: Randle seemed overmatched at times against Indiana’s 6-5 point guard Lance Stephenson (a game-high 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting). He did a good job getting into the lane and trying to navigate the defense, but also struggled to make plays at times. He struggled to settle the game down early and allowed Stephenson and Indiana to push the pace and get out to the early lead. But when he could settle the game down, he played pretty well. Eight points, six rebounds and five assists is a pretty good stat line. Randle though was the weak link early on and put the team in a hole.

Jeff Adrien: I have always loved how Adrien plays. He is a tough-minded, strong player who is not afraid to mix things up around the basket and play bigger than he is. Unfortunately he is not bigger, and at 6-foot-7, he will struggle to match up with bigger players (and speedier wings).

Adrien perhaps had the best game for Orlando today with 13 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. He showed he can work around the basket and give himself and his team opportunities on the glass. But at the same time, he got blown by a few times on the perimeter and struggled to finish around the basket at times — and it was almost purely because of his height.

Ben McCauley: McCauley hit his first shot of the game — an open 20-foot jumper — and then went 0-for the rest of the game, including missing an alley-oop feed. He scored two points on 1-for-10 shooting and grabbed six rebounds.

Joe Crawford: 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting is good, not great, not horrible. Crawford got into the lane a few times and hit a few jumpers, but did little to impress.

Curtis Stinson: Stinson hardly looked like a guy who nearly averaged a triple double in the D-League last year. He scored four points, grabbed one rebound and dished out two assists.

Paul Davis: Davis’ size served him well around the basket on his way to six points and four rebounds. But his lack of mobility and bad hands cost him some opportunities. He had six fouls and shot just three of seven, even though most of his shots were close up.

Orlando plays Utah tomorrow at 1 p.m. All games of the Summer League are aired on NBATV.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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