Today marked the first day of Summer League (hooray!). The Sixers SL squad faced a tough Rockets SL squad and lost 88-80. The Summer League operates on a points system, with 1 point awarded for every quarter won, and 3 points for winning a game. The Sixers finished the 3rd and 4th quarters with the lead, so they walked away with 2 total points in the standings.
The highlight of the game was none other than one of the Sixers first round picks: Michael-Carter Wiliams. The other Sixers first round pick*, Nerlens Noel, technically isn't a Sixer yet, but will be once Jrue Holiday trade gets approved later this week. And Noel wouldn't be able to play anyway due to his ACL injury.
But let's get back to the man known as MCW. After watching him for a bit it was clear the kid could play. The Dubster finished with a stat-line of 26 points (on 8-23), 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. He aggressively attacked the basket with confidence, finished in traffic, and successfully got to the charity stripe (10-11 from the FT line). He also had success kicking the ball out to teammates after driving.
While there were reasons to be encouraged with MCW's performance, there was also cause for concern. The first thing that stands out is his 9 turnovers. Some of those resulted from being aggressive in attacking the basket, which I can live with. Others were because he need to take care of the ball better. To be fair, Rockets PG Patrick Beverly, was all up in MCW's grill on defense like there was no tomorrow. Beverly finished with 7 fouls and played defense that he couldn't get away with if this was a real game.
Another thing that wasn't going in MCW's favor was that his team can't really shoot. Unfortunately, neither could he, as he finished 0-6 from beyond the arc. As Rich Hofmann talked about earlier this week, he needs to work on his jumper in order to be successful in this league.
Overall, it was a mixed performance by the young man from Syracuse, but there were some encouraging signs. And hey, it's only the first game of summer league. Take it all for what it's worth.
- Sixers assistant coach Michael Curry is coaching the SL team. The offense we saw today gave me flashbacks to the Doug Collins era.
- Arsalan Kazemi is dealing with a soft-tissue issue (rhymez) and only saw limited time, but hustled in the minutes he was out there. He committed 5 fouls in just under 9 minutes, which is ridiculous, but rumor has it the SL refs have an anti-Duck bias. Most of them were weak calls.
- Michael Eric (8 points on 2-3 shooting, 6 rebs) looked like a big man who did big man things. He hustled for boards and got a few high percentage baskets. I'm looking forward to seeing more of him in upcoming games.
- Trevor Mbakwe was a -26.
- Rodney Williams finished with 12 points (5-10) and two big dunks. The first one came off a MCW lob and the second one was an impressive three-quarter-court lob pass from Khalif Wyatt.
- Speaking of Wyatt, he didn't do so hot, much to the chagrin of Temple fans. The local product finished with 9 points on 4-15 shooting. He just didn't look good out there.
- I almost forgot to include Arnett Moultrie here. That's how relevant he was. Outside of a few good contested rebounds, I don't recall seeing much from him. Not the end of the world but certainly not encouraging.
- James Southerland, D. J. Cooper, and Brock Motum played but didn't stand out.
- DNP: Justin Holiday was at Jrue's wedding and he'll be back with the team soon. Zeke Marshall didn't see the floor but is expected to next game. Travis Leslie started and only played three minutes but I imagine he was limited due to his on-going groin injury.
It was nice to see basketball again, even if it was of the sloppy Summer League variety.
Next game is tomorrow at 1:00 PM EST vs the Pacers.
Check out our friends at The Dream Shake for a Houston perspective.