The Indiana Pacers showed two major things in their 104-95 win over the Golden State Warriors last night.
1) They can play with anyone in the league.
2) The depth off the bench is for real.
Edmond Sumner was a big part of that. Not only did he get his first start of the year, but he was tasked with guarding one of the NBA’s most lethal players in Steph Curry. In 31 minutes, Sumner dropped 12 points and snagged 4 rebounds.
But he also limited Curry to just 20 points. Curry did not hit a single three-pointer in the first half.
Is Sumner a guy that can grow into a larger role with the Blue and Gold as the year goes on? Pacers play-by-play man Chris Denari left the broadcast last night feeling impressed. He dropped by The Fan Morning Show on Tuesday and chatted with Jeff Rickard and Kevin Bowen about the big dub.
“Edmond got his first career start two years ago against Golden State when Victor Oladipo got hurt and he was like a deer in headlights,” Denari said. “He was not that last night though. Sumner played really physical with Curry and when you can hold a guy to 20 points, you’ve done your job.”
If the former Xavier Musketeer can bring some juice off the bench to this year’s Pacers team, the move to get him in 2017 will go down as a draft day steal. Sumner was drafted by New Orleans, but then subsequently traded to Indiana for cash considerations.
Between T.J. Warren and now Sumner, the whole cash considerations thing has paid off for Kevin Pritchard and company. Denari also told the guys this morning that Sumner brings a unique asset to the Pacers.
“He’s probably one of the most athletic players on not a really athletic Pacers team,” Denari added. “We saw that in his ability to drive and get to the basket at critical times last night.”
With Warren out indefinitely and Oladipo reportedly traded to Houston, having Sumner as a consistent option could pay dividends down the road.
Especially when you’re in a 72 game dash season and you’re playing many back-to-backs. Fresh legs will have to be at a premium when we get to March.
Tune into The Fan Morning Show weekdays from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM.