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Sixers Lose To Knicks In Summer League Overtime

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Scottie Wilbekin excelled in a game whose narrative changed throughout.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The story going into the game, for all purposes, was the Jahlil Okafor-Kristaps Porzingis match up. That didn't change, even with guest appearances by guys like Scottie Wilbekin for the 76ers and Maurice Ndour for the Knicks, who each had great games for themselves and could play their way into training camp, but the actual story evolved as the game went on.

In the first quarter, Okafor had his way using his size and physicality against the slighter Porzingis, starting 4-5 from the floor and hitting all four from up close. He posted up, backing up right into Porzingis's body to create space to finish. He got time to work as the Knicks refused to send double teams. Alex Kirk couldn't do much, either, as Okafor used his pristine footwork to dance around the wooden-framed center. He finished the first quarter with eight and the first half with 10 points,

But as the game went on, the battle started to tilt in the Zinger's favor. Porzingis might be slight, but as he made adjustments to deal with Okafor's size and positioning he began to make ground. Whether by fronting or simply reaching around with his prodigious wingspan, Porzingis got Okafor flustered.

Then even more, as the game continued, did the physical matchup turn in the other direction. Okafor, still not in great game shape even after improving his conditioning since his Duke days, started to tire in the second half, while Porzingis had plenty of energy. He ended up blocking two Okafor attempts in the fourth quarter, and his shot was blocked four times overall during the game. Despite committing a poor foul which forced overtime, Porzingis impressed and in the end battle Okafor to about a draw.

The Knicks have mostly limited Kristaps' minutes during summer league, however, while Okafor topped 25 in every game so far this summer, in both Las Vegas and Utah. There's a reason one might be fresher than the other, but exhaustion can only be used for an excuse for so long. He needs to improve the conditioning by the time the regular season comes around, because off two days rest and less than 30 minutes played, he needs to do better.

Summer Six(er) Notes:

1.The final score was 84-81 Knicks. Figured you should know.

2. Scottie Wilbekin played the best of anyone in today's game, finishing with 26 points and six threes hit. As mentioned in the first summer league game recap, Wilbekin played almost exclusively off-ball despite being a point guard, as the Sixers are carrying four point guards on the roster.

3. He has a contract with his team in Australia, but when asked by Jake Pavorsky post-game as to whether he could get out of it, he confirmed that he could with an NBA contract. He might just get one. The Sixers obviously like him, even though they had point guards around him, to bring him on board for summer league, and it probably wouldn't hurt to extend a camp invite.

4. Some Knicks things: Maurice Ndour might make the Knicks as an energy guy, a la Quincy Acy. He scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and out-hustled just about everyone except Arsalan Kazemi (which is impossible). Alex Kirk should not make the roster. Jerian Grant didn't show as much today as in prior games, as the Knicks seemingly focused on getting the ball inside to whichever bigs were on court. Regardless, he's at least an NBA rotation player with the potential for more.

5. JaKarr Sampson has had a really rough summer league so far, and he saw his playing time disappear in the second half of tonight's game. I doubt it affects his training camp chances, however. It's just been disappointing.

6. The NBA summer league playoff bracket, which is a really thing with seeds and all, hasn't been finalized as of yet - but the Sixers, with an 0-3 record, ensured they will play at some point tomorrow. Based on how Jahlil looked late today, it wouldn't be shocking to see him sit out tomorrow to avoid injury/exhaustion concerns. Regardless, the team has at least two games to go in Las Vegas before they wrap it up.