Thunder Finish Off Pacers, 77-73, Behind Shakur And Weaver

The Oklahoma City Thunder opened tthe final day of Orlando Pro Summer League action by holding off another of the Indiana Pacers’ athleticism-driven rallies, 77-73, behind 19 points from Mustafa Shakur and 15 from Kyle Weaver. Oklahoma City led throughout, but Pacers rookie Paul Geroge drilled a three-pointer—his first in seven attempts—from the right corner in the final minute drew the Pacers to within three. George had his most productive day yet, with 22 points and 12 rebounds, but his shot selection and ballhandling continue to leave much to be desired. Indiana outscored Oklahoma City, 49-34, more than compensating for its horrid second quarter in which it managed only seven points.

The Pacers, when down, go to a full-court press which frustrates opponents. Even if it doesn’t always result in a turnover, the press delays opponents from getting into their offense comfortably and can lead to poor execution. The hustle the team—which dressed only eight players—displayed should have Pacers fans feeling good about the mentality coach Jim O’Brien and team president Larry Bird are trying to instill.

But the Thunder’s superior talent came through and propelled them to a 4-1 showing this week. Shakur added three rebounds and six assists, and continues to look like a potential gem in the back end of an NBA rotation. And Ryan Reid, whom Jonathan Givony has argued might the most puzzling draft pick of all time, acquitted himself today. A tough, hardworking player with no real position, Reid fulfilled a variety of tasks today, including bringing the ball up against the Pacers’ press. He tallied 10 points on five-of-six shooting to go with eight rebounds.

Indiana finished the week 3-2. George looks to be a tremendous prospect if he can help his shot selection.

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