Once again without Tyrese Maxey, who was breaking his dad’s ankles at his basketball camp down in Texas, the Summer Sixers put forth a much better effort than their previous game against Boston. Up against an undefeated Minnesota squad hoping to win by eight or more and advance to the Summer League championship game (point differential being a tiebreaker), the Sixers actually led for most of the first half. Trailing by one point late in the game, Jaden Springer got the shooter’s touch on a 3-pointer to put the Sixers back in front. However, a couple possessions later, Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels banked in a 3 to force the second overtime of Philadelphia’s Las Vegas trip.
In the two-minute overtime, Jaylen Nowell (26 points) connected on a pair of 3s, and Frank Mason’s potential game-tying 3 at the buzzer caught back iron for Philadelphia. So the Summer Sixers dropped to 2-2 with the 99-96 defeat. But hey, they played spoiler by keeping the deficit below eight and denying the Wolves a shot at the Summer League title.
More importantly, we will remember this as THE BBall Paul Summer League game. Reed became just the second player in Summer League history to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game, finishing with 27 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, four steals, and four blocks. The Sixers went small by inserting Aaron Henry into the start lineup in place of Filip Petrusev and moving Reed to the 5.
The change certainly helped BBall Paul, who was a force of nature on both ends of the floor. As his eight stocks would attest, he was extremely active on the defensive end. We also saw a fair bit of him handling the ball, with a sprinkling of point-center action and plenty of his receiving a pass and driving from 15 feet in for the bucket. As always, Reed attacked the glass like a fiend, tracking down six offensive rebounds, ending one second-chance possession by taking a couple dribbles and slamming home a reverse dunk. Key for his potential future as a role player with the big club, BBall Paul also went 2-of-3 from downtown. During the halftime interview, Reed revealed that the secret to his success was a Denny’s breakfast. Legend.
On the negative side tonight was the injury to Isaiah Joe, who had been playing well in Vegas as well. In the fourth quarter, Joe went to the floor with what looked on replay to be a badly rolled ankle of some sort. Joe was able to limp to the bench, and after a minute or two, the locker room, basically under his own power. However, word from the Sixers after the game was that it was a left knee injury, with more information to come later — the last thing you want to see in a Summer League setting.
One final thought: I would petition to keep Rayjon Tucker on the roster just to have him available to play in blowouts and put on a dunking exhibition. Tucker had a number of slams in this contest, and I honestly never tire of them.
One more game for our Summer Sixers. Fingers crossed for Isaiah Joe.