MAITLAND, Fla. — The Utah Jazz were no match for the effort and execution of the Indiana Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert, as the young duo combined for 45 points and 13 rebounds in their 95-79 win over a visibly fatigued Jazz team in the Orlando Pro Summer League on Wednesday.
"We may be a little tired," said Jazz assistant coach Tyrone Corbin. "We've had three games in three nights. We've been going through two-a-days while we've been down here, so guys may be feeling a little fatigued. But it's a good chance for them to see where they are and where they have to get better."
While Hansbrough, the former North Carolina star, played with his trademark relentless effort, Jazz rookie Eric Maynor looked as if the wear and tear of the physical play had gotten the better of him. He didn't seem to have the head-turning quickness that, in the first two days, has allowed him to slice his way though opposing defenses. The rookie acknowledged that he was feeling the effects of the NBA schedule.
"It's tough! It's real tough," Maynor said. "You wake up and you have a game the next day and being that we have been practicing every day, it's tough. The fourth one will be even tougher."
That fourth game may turn out to be one the toughest the 22-year-old guard has ever played in. The consistent level of good, physical basketball is something that most college players aren't used to. The summer league is a good tool for players such as Maynor to get an idea about the type of challenges that are waiting for them in the NBA. Coach Corbin believes the rookie will be better after the experience and the things he'll learn about his game after the summer league is complete.
"It's a new experience for him," Corbin said. "It's a high level of play for him and it's consistent. He's going to have to learn what type of conditioning he's going to need to be in, how he needs to get stronger and be able to handle the pounding every night."
Corbin isn't the only member of the Jazz organization that has acknowledged that getting stronger is something the rookie will need to do.
"Obviously the kid knows how to play; he's got great tools," said Jazz strength and conditioning coach Mark McKown. "He has to get stronger. He has to get stronger in the ability where he can transfer it all the way through his body. We want him to be able to change direction, which he does well, but we want him to be able to do it, get bumped and complete the play."
Getting stronger isn't the only part of Maynor's game the Jazz are focused on. As a young guard, he's going to be required to learn a lot of information in a short period of time. During the summer league, he's been getting help from summer league veteran Kevin Kruger, something that has helped the rookie point guard make the transition.
"Every day I ask him questions," said Maynor. "I'm just trying to learn from him because I know he's been in this system. Every day I'm constantly asking him something."
Maynor will need to find the energy to rebound from another double-digit loss. With two games remaining in the Orlando league, the rookie doesn't plan on letting fatigue affect another performance.
"I'll be all right. I'll try and get some rest tonight; I'll be straight tomorrow," he said.