The Sixers’ slate of games at Samsung Summer League began like many trips to Las Vegas, marked by unbridled excitement on Day One and by a dispiriting mix of despondency and exhaustion by the tail end. Let’s be honest, in the time between visits it’s often easy to allow one’s self to forget the realities of Summer League, and of Las Vegas. We remember uncovering T.J. McConnell or winning big at blackjack but overlook David Laury and that terrible night at the craps table.
In Vegas, the basketball is bad, the rosters are filled out with borderline D-Leaguers, and the majority of the most talented prospects at the event simply use the weeklong tournament as an opportunity to shake out offseason cobwebs. To enjoy it, one has to read between the lines and wade through a whole lot of noise. But in this league of bad decisions and worse execution, Ben Simmons has more often than not looked comfortable and competent.
In Wednesday night’s 85-77 loss to the Warriors, which dropped the Sixers to 0-3 on the week, Simmons finished with eight points, eight rebounds, and six assists in 29 minutes. His night included five turnovers, seven personal fouls (the Summer League limit is 10 per player), and a 3-for-8 performance from the field, but it also included some jaw-dropping highlights, like these:
Summer League standout Christian Wood put together another nice game, leading all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-12 shootingoff the bench. Richaun Holmes finished with 11 points (4/7 FG, 3/6 FT), eight rebounds, and three blocks in 26 minutes, and T.J. McConnell 11 points (3/11 FG, 0/3 3P, 5/5 FT), six rebounds, and four assists in a team-high 31 minutes.
On Wednesday, the Sixers begin the knockout round of the Samsung Summer League, taking on the D-League Select squad at 6:30et on NBA TV. Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu, T.J. McConnell, Richaun Holmes, and Christian Wood are all expected to suit up for the elimination game.