The Sixers had their two-game winning streak snapped today, by the Oklahoma City Thunder. They were trailing for most of the game game, fought back numerous times -- even took the lead in the third -- but failed to remain undefeated. However; Summer League isn't about wins and losses; it's about working on schemes, philosophies, and individual weaknesses. Notes on Jrue, Jodie, The Villain, Speights and Simmons after the jump ...
Numbers-wise Jrue had his best performance of the Summer League. Basketball-wise I thought it was sub-par for his standards. His defense was solid -- always will be -- but he continues to allow blow-byes with more regularity as the Summer League progresses. I don't know whether he's disinterested, fatigued, or victim of poor communication, but he doesn't seem as sharp on defense as usual.
On the offensive side of the ball Jrue was as aggressive as I've ever seen -- setting up his teammates, getting to the line and creating his own shot. His aggression did however; lead to a few forced passes and wild shot attempts.
Jrue's three areas in most need of improvement after three SL games are: more confidence/consistence on his jumper, finishing at the rim more efficiently, and hitting his free throws.
Jodie put together a pretty impressive line of stats: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 8-8 free throws. He did shoot poorly from the field (4-14), but most of his misses were wide open jumpers he usually hits. So far this Summer League two things stand out with Jodie: defensive effort and aggressiveness on offense. We all know he can shoot, and he doesn't hesitate in doing so, whether it's coming off screens or in catch-and-shoot situations. At the same time, he's not a ball-massager like Willie Green. When he gets the ball he's either going to take the shot, make an aggressive move to the hoop or pass the ball. These are all qualities you want your scoring role player off the bench to have.
Ohhh, Evan. Yet another disappointing performance from the Villain. I can't quite figure out why he's playing so poorly. The only effective thing he did today was rebound. He racked up eight (all defensive) and is now averaging a little over six boards per game during the OSL. Unfortunately, it's the only area where he has consistently excelled. Other highlights of Turner's day include a terrible air ball on a three-point attempt and six personal fouls. Also, despite an impressive steal and layup (pictured), James Harden torched him on both ends.
Through three games Turner is struggling mightily to find his groove against NBA-ish competition. He's constantly turning the ball over, committing offensive fouls, missing jump shots, getting beat on defense, and glaring at the refs. I'm already hearing the word "bust" thrown around, which I think is absurd. The dude has played three Summer League games. He needs time to adjust, accept coaching, and work on his weaknesses. Give it time.
Mo Speezy had another mixed game. On one hand he impressed with some passes and a couple nice post moves. On the other hand he still fails to box out, shoots ill-advised jumpers and gets scored on too frequently -- the most frustrating times being when he bites on pump fakes. The most important thing with Speights is he's improving game-to-game, and realistically you can't ask for much else. I still believe he's recovering from the knee injury. I also believe Coach Collins will bring out the best in him over the course of the season.
Ced had his worst game of the Summer League, playing 15 minutes without racking up a single rebound or block. All he did was foul (four times), not box out and get scored on. Not a good sign for Ced's chances with the Sixers.
Up Next: Thu, July 8, 7 p.m. vs Charlotte