THE ‘BURBS – What a difference a day can make.
The Pacers three rookies – Paul George, Lance Stephenson and Magnum Rolle – looked overwhelmed on the first day of training camp Tuesday.
That wasn’t the case 24 hours later.
The Pacers were in the midst of a three-team scrimmage – gold, blue and white – when the media started to watch practice (Jim O’Brien does a good job of letting the media watch a good portion of practice).
The first team that scored stayed on the court.
The blue team consisted of the “starters.” Collison, Dunleavy, Granger, McRoberts and Hibbert.
The white squad was Ford, D. Jones, S. Jones, Hansbrough and Allred.
The gold squad was Stephenson, George, Rolle, Posey and Foster.
Guess what team dominated the scrimmage?
Don’t even think of saying the starters.
The gold team gave the other two teams the business.
It got so bad at one point that O’Brien told the gold team to stop running the same play because the other two teams couldn’t stop them.
Stephenson is so crafty with the ball and he knows how to muscle his way to basket and get a shot off. He also played some shooting guard.
I must warn you, though, team officials were right when they said Stephenson has a lot of work ahead of him if he expects to be an average defender.
Defense definitely isn’t his specialty.
I was really impressed with Rolle.
He’s so active on the glass. He pursues the ball until he can’t anymore. Rolle went through a stretch of about four straight possessions where he either outhustled the other team for the loose ball, grabbed the rebound or got a tip in.
It also helped Rolle that he was on the same team as Foster, who, too, has a motor that doesn’t stop.
The rookies will have their fair share of up-and-down days, but you can see why the Pacers like each one of them