1. New additions Bruce Brown and Obi Toppin make their mark
Tonight was a special night for the Indiana Pacers, as six new faces debuted in the blue and gold, with four of them being rookies. We will discuss the rookies later on, as the first order of business is to talk about the new veterans added to Indiana’s roster – Obi Toppin and Bruce Brown.
For starters, both Brown and Toppin got starting roles in their first outings, as Brown started at shooting guard, replacing Buddy Hield, and Toppin nabbed the starting power forward spot, replacing Jalen Smith, who started at the four last year.
We’ll start with Bruce Brown. While he definitely had some high spots, his performance wasn’t anything remarkable.
In around 16 minutes of playing time, Brown logged five points (2/8 FG, 0/3 3PT, 1/2 FT), five assists, one rebound, two steals, and one block with a +/- of -4 as he took over some backup ballhandling duties when TJ McConnell took a step back.
Brown showed some nice flashes of court vision and his trademark defense, though, as he even hit up Toppin in transition for the Pacers’ first preseason basket,
That said, however, the real star of the two was Obi Toppin, as he was the main one leading the charge in the first quarter. All seven of his points came in the first five minutes of the first quarter. Toppin’s offense set the tone for the rest of the game, as his first seven points accumulated half of Indiana’s total points at the time.
Toppin’s ways of scoring were also pretty diverse, albeit limited, as he got his seven points off a floater, a three-pointer, and a dunk in transition, with the three-pointer coming off a pretty impressive save to Brown, who hit up Toppin for the corner three.
And, of course, you can’t have an Obi Toppin performance without at least one dunk, and Toppin’s dunk of the night came off a fast break and an impressive crosscourt outlet pass by McConnell.
While Brown’s performance was impressive and shows promise in its own right, Toppin’s performance in the first five minutes of the game was a sneak peek of what he can do for the Pacers, and hopefully, he builds off this.
However, I would be lying if I said he was the most impressive power forward on the team in this outing.