Summer League basketball has never been praised for its elegance. Even with that in mind, the Sixers first game against the Indiana Pacers has to fall towards the bottom of that spectrum. Masked with a hideousness unmatched even by the Sixers playoff run last season, the Sixers fell to the Pacers by a score of 69-63.
Paced by Jacob Pullen with 15, who hit a few late-game three's to keep them in it, the Philadelphia Summer Leaguers shot just 21 of 67 (31.3%) from the field. Indiana wasn't much better (34.3%) but 19 from UC Santa Barbara product Orlando Johnson kept the Sixers within arms length as they continued to brick shot after shot.
With Arnett Moultrie sitting with an ankle sprain, Moe Harkless was the only Sixers draftee to suit up for this one. He had a wonky hip flexor that slowed him down, but he played a reasonably painless 23 minutes that saw him drift around and not make too many mistakes. His first bucket was an uncontested cherrypicked dunk that followed a few awkward bricked jumpers. On another play, he absorbed contact on a baseline drive and finished despite the lack of a foul call. He also hit an open three (100% from beyond!) and a put-back of his own miss. He went 4-9 on the day, with 9 points, 5 boards, and one assist that led to a Solomon Jones dunk.
Defensively, they didn't test him too much so he mostly just drifted around. But the defense was a mess all around and I couldn't really see very well due to the summer league camerawork (nonexistent) so everything I have just said may be falsified. Anywho, I'm excited to see mo' of Moe tomorrow against Utah.
Did Anybody Look Good?
No, but in terms of the people who looked the least terrible, Justin Holiday has to be the tops so far. He was far from excellent, but he hit a few threes (2-5), was active on the glass (7 boards in 24 minutes), and had a very nifty dribble-drive that led to him finishing with a finger roll over Jeff Pendergraph. At 6'6 with a 7'0 wingspan, he's a guy I could definitely see making this team out of camp.
Plus, having Jrue's big bro in town would make for some really goofy pictures and some childhood memories. Pink lemonade and scrabble, ya'll.
Miles Plumlee Hair Part
Point Guard Battle
For whatever reason, Clay Tucker played 25 minutes and led the team with 12 shot attempts as the off-guard. I hated him for every second because he was horrendous. He's also 32. Loathe. That meant a lot of Xavier Silas dominating the ball, especially early on. Well, X GON GIVE IT TO YA meant X GON BOSS A LOT and he certainly did, jacking up a ton of long jumpers that found a lot of rim (he would go on to finish 3-10 with 10 points).
Jacob Pullen did actually play some "point guard" though I wouldn't exactly say he did any "point guarding". A lot of long distance shots, jittery handles, and some of that trademarked fire at the end of the game he showed back at Kansas State. He wasn't awful, and it's the first game so I'll give him and his streaky jumper a break this time. Need to see some ball movement if he gets my vote on making the team.
Zack Rosen, meanwhile, sat on the bench. They didn't cut to him once. It wasn't very nice. Maybe we'll see him tomorrow morning vs. the Jazz.
Ben Hansbrough Update
Ben Hansbrough was not very good.
Good to have some basketball back! Looking forward to more of the same (only better) tomorrow. At least it's only five games -- in spite of all this enjoyment, I'm not quite sure any human is fit to watch this brand of basketball for more than that.