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Utah Summer League recap: Markelle Fultz impresses in Sixers debut

Fultz looked like the man in his debut.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Press Conference James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

In his first career game as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Markelle Fultz played just as well as anyone could have hoped for when he was selected first overall.

In the Sixers 89-88 loss to the Boston Celtics, the former Washington standout scored 17 points (6-16 FG), and added one assist, two rebounds three blocks. It was a really good debut from a rookie who controlled the game from his very first possession, a dribble handoff that led to a nice floater for his first NBA points.

He displayed a good looking shooting touch early on, both off the dribble and off the catch.

Fultz seemed to get into the lane rather easily. At one point he attacked the rim from the left side of the floor, using a spin move to his left to create separation before putting the ball back into his right hand. It was a real thing of beauty.

Then there were the blocks. My god, there were blocks. Fultz had shown a knack for impressive chase downs/blocks from behind at Washington, and it seems as though he’ll be putting that seven-foot wingspan to good use in the NBA as well.

It was hard to ask for too much more from the 19-year-old. He did have four turnovers, and couldn’t finish on a layup attempt that would’ve won the Sixers the game, but harping on that in his professional debut would be silly. Kevin Durant was certainly impressed.

All in all, a good night for the new kid in town.

Other notes:

  • Second-round pick Jonah Bolden also made his debut in Utah, and showed some flashes of brilliance. He scored nine points (4-10 FG) and added four rebounds. Bolden showed off his range in a couple instances, but the most impressive part of his game were the four vicious blocks he had. Bolden’s defensive versatility is something to keep an eye on the rest of this summer. He did have six fouls though. In summer league, you get 10, but that’s not how it goes in real NBA games.
  • Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had a rough night shooting the ball, scoring just 16 points on 6-17 shooting. He looked good attacking the basket, but had trouble with his range, knocking down just one of his nine three-point attempts.
  • Local product Isaiah Miles of St. Joe’s contributed 10 points off the bench, showing off his outside shooting range with two three pointers.
  • Jaylen Brown has absolutely no business being in summer league. He’s simply too good for the talent pool. He finished with 29 points (10-16 FG), 13 rebounds, but did have seven turnovers.
  • Jayson Tatum, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, had himself a really good debut as well. He added 21 points (8-17 FG) of his own, including a vicious poster dunk over Kaleb Tarczewski, and the game-winning jumper.
  • Kaleb Tarczewski is really bad at basketball.

The Sixers will be back in action on Wednesday against the Utah Jazz at 9:00 p.m.

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