The Philadelphia 76ers’ 2018 Summer League experience began the way their 2017-18 season ended: a date with the Boston Celtics. It was a result all too familiar as the Celtics knocked off the Sixers, 95-89, to open their midsummer festivities with a victory.
Unlike the postseason, though, the Sixers get another crack at a win. They are set to take on the Los Angeles Lakers, whose Summer League season began in Sacramento, California earlier this week with three games at the California Classic.
For Philadelphia, Furkan Korkmaz will look to follow up his 40-point explosion with another sweet shooting night, potentially staking a claim to consistent minutes come October and beyond. Unfortunately, first-rounder Landry Shamet has been ruled out for the remainder of Summer League after spraining his right ankle midway through the second quarter of Friday’s contest.
In the frontcourt, international man of mystery Jonah Bolden will continue to keep viewers glued to the television as fans fawn over his potential, hoping to see flashes of his versatile skill set during Summer League action.
Zhaire Smith’s first game in a Sixers uniform wasn’t a home run but he made some timely cuts and crisp passes while playing stingy defense, though his jumper faltered, sending Process Trusters into a minor frenzy. As his outside shot ebbs and flows, so too will the emotions of Sixers fans.
The Lakers are headlined by second-year wing Josh Hart, 2018 first-rounder Moritz Wagner and former Kansas swingman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. For long stretches of the California Classic, Hart looked like the best player on the floor, primed to breakout in his sophomore season with a budding playmaking gene, sustained perimeter defense, and a smooth long-range stroke.
As the Sixers’ Summer League journey moves forward, monitoring the progress of Korkmaz, Bolden, and Smith will be paramount as they each have a path to a potential rotation spot for the 2018-19 season.
Korkmaz looked the part on day one; can the rest of this trio join him?
Time: 11:30 p.m. EST
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