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Las Vegas Summer League Recap: Markelle Fultz suffers sprained ankle in Sixers win

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Both Fultz and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot suffered injuries against the Golden State Warriors.

NBA: Summer League-Philadelphia 76ers at Golden State Warriors Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Markelle Fultz attempted to block Golden State Warriors guard Jabari Brown’s shot and came down on Brown’s leg, rolling his ankle in a Sixers 95-93 win. Fultz has attempted multiple blocks during Summer League, trying to shed his stigma of being a lax defender. He left the game and received an MRI on his ankle.

The initial diagnosis was determined as a sprained ankle as the game progressed. It could’ve been a promising Summer League turned catastrophic.

Given the team’s history with injuries to its first-round picks, Fultz clutching his ankle on the court added further angst and anxiety. Ben Simmons, during last season’s training camp, endured a foot injury that kept him out for the year. His anticipated debut was derailed before it came to fruition.

Fultz (eight points, two rebounds) attempting a recovery block during Summer League and putting his body on the line speaks to his effort and determination as a 19-year-old. During the play, guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot got clocked in the grille and suffered a lip laceration.

Luwawu-Cabarrot (seven points, three rebounds) had a difficult assignment with Patrick McCaw prior to his injury, but he tried to slash and finish repeatedly. Fultz followed suit, looking for his own shot more than creating at the point.

Prior to his injury, he showcased his halfcourt offense using creativity and offensive moves to attack.

Despite going just 3-of-12 from the floor, Fultz had more aggression and summer reps never hurt. He left his perimeter shots short, for the most part, but Fultz offered some high-skill plays.

There was exceptional poise, balance and comfort when Fultz attempted the Dirk-like fadeaway. His cover was Damian Jones, one of Golden State’s rotational guys during the regular season and Fultz gave up north of four inches.

The touch didn’t translate to his pull-up and stepback looks however. Fultz left a lot of looks grazing the front of the rim, but his arsenal of moves in the halfcourt was the promise he showed. He unleashed “The Shammgod” and Rondo-like fake, which led to a baseline dish to Alex Poythress in the corner, and spins to create space on his looks.

Fultz probably will be shut down for the remainder of Summer League and with further developments we’ll know the full extent of his injury.

Other Notes:

  • Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot didn’t get a break from facing functional NBA talent, having to grapple with the versatile Patrick McCaw. Matching up with a player of Tatum, Jaylen Brown or McCaw’s caliber in July should better prepare TLC for the rigors of this season. With McCaw as the focal point, Luwawu-Cabarrot struggled before succumbing to his injury. He lost McCaw a couple of times and the foot speed isn’t fit to handle the league’s offensively gifted wings
  • Furkan Korkmaz wasn’t in a conducive environment to showcase his offensive gifts in Utah. Appearing fatigued and having to play back-to-back contests after an international flight, Korkmaz had a necessary day off Friday. Refreshed and part of the starting lineup, Korkmaz finished 5-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-6 from deep.
  • While Isaiah Miles’ hopes of breaking into training camp on the team remain bleak, his Utah success didn’t translate to Las Vegas. He shot just 1-of-7 from the floor and was overshadowed by Aaron Harrison (13 PTS, four rebounds) and Larry Drew II (eight points, six assists).
  • Kaleb Tarczewski inexplicably got the start and, on par for the course, failed to contribute. Brought in as as a necessary reinforcement in the frontcourt, Mouhammadou Jaiteh didn’t play but Jonah Bolden shined off the bench.
  • You don’t need to tell Bolden to commit on both ends. The active big man covered ground on the court tonight with his activity. Deflecting passes, converting put-backs and being a pain defensively, Bolden continued his impressive Summer League. The combo big finished with a double-double (11 PTS, 10 REB) and he’s been a revelation. Bolden, Drew II, and Harrison all had over a plus-10 BPM tonight. Bolden’s performance mitigated the horrific turnout for Fultz and TLC tonight.