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NBA Summer League: Sixers vs. Thunder Preview and Game Thread

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NBA: Summer League-Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers will compete in their third of at least four Las Vegas Summer League games on Monday afternoon, as they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 3:00 pm EST at the Cox Pavilion in Vegas. The Sixers are 1-1 in Summer League so far, with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks and a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Heading into Summer League, Shake Milton was on everybody’s radar as a player to watch. Milton’s history of successful shooting at the NCAA level and experience as a guard make him a very intriguing up-and-comer for the Sixers. But through (granted, just) two games in the 2019 Vegas Summer League, Milton’s performance has been disappointing. He’s shot 4-for-29 and inefficiency aside, he has just not looked comfortable scoring the ball or more generally initiating offense. It would be a significant confidence boost if he can rebound with a strong game against the Thunder today. Even if Milton doesn’t have the creativity to take on point guard minutes, he can earn playing time if he’s able to prove he’s the shooter he was at Southern Methodist University.

On the brighter side of things, both Zhaire Smith and Matisse Thybulle have had good showings in Summer League. While Zhaire has looked a bit raw offensively, he’s displayed elite explosiveness as a cutter and a willingness to shoot the ball. Defensively, his IQ and motor only reinforce what we’ve already thought about his upside. As for Thybulle, his quick trigger from three has been refreshing, alleviating some concern over the other areas he’s been unimpressive, like his ball-handling. On defense, Thybulle has shown a propensity to gamble. That could land him in Brett Brown’s dog house, but nonetheless his length is impressive and allows him to get a hand on passes that initially seem untouchable. Thybulle’s range on defense has really stood out, the guy covers a lot of ground. It will be exciting to if see Smith and Thybulle can continue to demonstrate their defensive potential against the Thunder, who have quite a few athletic wings in Luguentz Dort, Deonte Burton and Hamidou Diallo.

Game Info

Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

When: 3:00 pm EST

Where: Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV

Watch: ESPNU

Follow: @Liberty_Ballers