The 2021 Summer Sixers are still riding high. After a comeback effort to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in overtime, 96-88, on Thursday, the Sixers are now 2-0 in Summer League. This young, athletic, talented group has been a lot of fun to watch so far, and should be firmly in the running for the Summer League title.
A championship is a championship, right?
Tyrese Maxey has continued to dominate. After shining with 21 points and a few pull-up triples in the Sixers’ first game, Maxey poured in 31 points against Atlanta. He didn’t have the same success from three (finishing 1-of-8 from deep), but it was encouraging to see his confidence from range continue, which also resulted in a huge step-back three in the final two minutes. With 6 rebounds, 5 assists to only 1 turnover, 1 steal and 2 blocks as well, it was quite the performance from Maxey.
All you can ask from second-year NBA players in Summer League is that they look a level above the rest, or dominate if they’re as talented as Maxey. It’s safe to safe the Sixers sophomore has well and truly delivered so far. Along with Isaiah Joe (who continues to showcase his high-level shooting and some improved passing) and Paul Reed (who stepped up with 20 points and 12 rebounds vs. Atlanta after a quieter first game) to help lead the way, the Sixers are playing well.
It’ll be up to the Boston Celtics to try and slow them down in Saturday’s matchup. The Celtics just rolled past the Orlando Magic with a 108-71 win on Thursday, taking their record to 3-0 with the best point differential (+21.3) of any team. Boston has some well-qualified players on their Summer League squad.
To help lead their backcourt they have Payton Pritchard, who had a solid rookie season and scored 17 points on only 9 shots with 9 assists and 3 steals against the Magic. Aaron Nesmith has also thrived in Summer League so far. He went off for 33 points on 13-of-18 shooting (including 7 made threes) against Denver on Tuesday, followed by 18 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists against the Magic. Beyond just strong numbers, Nesmith has also been showing a little more ability off the dribble with his driving and passing. Sam Hauser, who’s with the Celtics on a two-way contract, also provided a shooting spark against the Magic. The three-point specialist scored 21 points in his 26 minutes, going 6-of-10 from three.
With the Celtics sitting at 3-0 after a couple of blowout wins, the Sixers will be taking on one of their top Summer League title competitors in this game.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
When: 5:00 pm ET, August 14th, 2021
Where: Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
Watch: NBA TV