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Okafor Struggles as Jazz top Sixers in OT

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Someone accidentally pressed the Overtime button, didn't they?

Back to work!
Back to work!
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In the third and final game of the Rocky Mountain Revue, the Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Utah Jazz in overtime 78-84. After trailing for much of the game, being down by 15 at one point, the Sixers made a come back in the 4th and were able to take a lead late in the game. Much like the regular season team, however, turnovers doomed the team in the end.

I initially started writing this recap at the start of the fourth quarter thinking that the team wouldn't dig themselves out of their deficit. Much like the regular season, this was a bad idea as the game and narrative would change and there I was left struggling to multitask in trying to watch, tweet and re-write this whole thing.

Speaking of struggles, Jahlil Okafor didn't have too great of a night. With all due respect to him and his performance, if Jack Cooley is outplaying you, you're probably doing something wrong. While many of us thought Okafor would dominate the match-up, for much of the night Okafor looked less focused, energized, and a step slower. There were a few bright spots here and there but Okafor truly looked the part of a guy that was just not fit enough to keep up.

With 3 games in 4 days, in a higher altitude, there's been a notable decline in Big Jah's performance game-to-game. With the caveat of "It's just Summer League", there are still some takeaways from this week. Predictably, Okafor excelled working in the post and deep in the paint while he struggled with rotations and recovery on defense. Obviously, the team around him did not help him as spacing and lack of guard play hurt him on both ends.

The main thing that I'm excited to see is how Okafor will develop under this coaching staff and program, as I believe better cardio and agility will help alleviate some of his deficiencies. It's too early to make a call on him either way (because calling him a "bust" now is kind of crazy). However, I'll just say let's not make any definitive conclusions about Okafor and his future based on a small sample size worth of games. Keep this in mind:

Odds & Ends:

  • I'll readily admit that I was wrong about Furkan Aldemir. After watching the first half of the first game against the Spurs, I tweeted that Furkan looked like he made no improvements. Two and a half games later, Aldemir showed us progress in many facets. The 3 pointer was alive last game. Tonight, his passing ability was on display (no lookers! behind the backs!). He even put it on the floor and drove to the basket once. I'm pleasantly surprised and was proven wrong.
  • Jerami Grant did this. Brace for impact.
  • Richaun Holmes continued his encouraging play tonight. In today's NBA, Holmes fits into that mold of a "swiss army knife" type of player. The combination of athleticism, size and 3 point range fits well into the direction this league seems to be heading towards. Whether he ever develops his skill sets to become a guy like Draymond Green, is up to him and this staff. But at the least, he has a role and should have a job in this league.
  • Aaaaannnndddd as of writing this, we just received some bad news about Holmes. Get well soon.
  • I'm not really a fan of Jordan McRae's game. He's been a very one-dimensional gunner and inefficient at that. Welcome to Delaware, Jordan.
  • The Sixers are now off to the Las Vegas Summer League. Stay tuned!