The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Utah Jazz late on Saturday night (and/or early on Sunday morning) in a close and fairly entertaining game. The final score: Sixers 74, Jazz 70. You just can't beat these Summer Sixers.
It's late and I'm tired (excuses, I know) so here are some quick thoughts.
• 1-0, baby. Wouldn't it be cool as heck if the Sixers won both the Orlando Summer League and the Las Vegas Summer League? The obvious answer to that is: YES. Let's hope for the best.
• Starting shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick killed it tonight. He has somewhat of an age advantage since he's 24 but I won't hold that against him. He shot 7-13 (3-5 from beyond the arc) and scored 20 points. He didn't record too many other stats but it's clear the guy can shoot. Shooting is a obviously skill that the Sixers clearly lack so it wouldn't be surprising to see the team offer him a spot.
• The other most impressive player was late second round draft pick Jordan McRae. He shot 4-15 from the field but he made it to the charity stripe a whopping 12 times and made 10 shots from there to finish with 20 points. McRae originally struggled shooting from the outside with a shot that lacked arc and looked very flat. The 23-year-old McRae found a little bit of a rhythm from 3 later in the game when he made two shots from the outside in a short amount of time. McRae's shot blocking ability was also apparent with 2 monster swats.
• Fellow second round pick and NBA (orlando summer league) Champion Jerami Grant shot 0-4 but scored 4 points (4-4) from the free throw line. What's most impressive is that he recorded 9 rebounds in 14 minutes of playing time. It's also worth noting that Grant was the only Sixers player who played in Orlando Summer League to play tonight for Philadelphia. Kudos to Grant for grinding hard out there.
• I wasn't too impressed with Drew Gordon (Aaron Gordon's brother) but he did have a crucial dunk to put the Sixers up 4 points with only 4.1 to go. Well done. Speaking of brothers, Elijah Millsap (Paull Millsap's brother) had a few nice plays here and there. He also hit two crucial FTs late to ice the game. Clutch brothers!
THE BAD (and other stuff)
• Michael Levin is probably going to fire me for writing this but it's time to move on from Brandon Davies. He just isn't good. I know he tries hard and I'm sure he's a great guy. He also works his butt off out there on the court. This isn't anything personal. I don't see how he deserves a spot on the roster. He finished with 7 fouls (which is possible in Summer League) in 21 minutes played. Five of those came with only 2 minutes remaining in the first half. He shot 2-8 (4 points), turned the ball over twice, and had a shot blocked. There has to be a player out there more deserving of a spot.
• The consensus of the comments in the game thread was that this team isn't as good as the Orlando team. I wouldn't necessarily disagree. The front court seems especially weak.
• It was a bummer that Nerlens Noel sat out. Same for K.J. McDaniels.
• Jazz center Rudy Gobert got a technical foul. In summer league!
• Jazz rookie guard Dante Exum looked really good despite a stat line of only 4-10 for 10 points and 3 assists. The kid needs some development but it's clear he can ball.
• Random: Jazz forward Rodney Hood shot 1-10 from 3. The whole team shot 3-30 (10%) from beyond. Yikes.
The Sixers are off on Sunday (7/13) and return to action on Monday night (7/14) against the Cleveland Cavaliers (1-0) at 8 PM EST. Nerlens Noel said he expects to play. Casper Ware should be returning as well. We'll see if K.J. McDaniels (ankle) will be healthy enough. For what it's worth, Sixers LVSL coach Chad Iske said he thinks both Noel and McD will be available. See you then, Andrew Wiggins.
In news unrelated to the Sixers, you may have heard that Paul Pierce signed with the Wizards.