The Sixers kicked off their Summer League Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. We got a chance to see the likes of Jaden Springer, Isaiah Joe, Bball Paul, Charles Bassey, and company in action for the first time in months. The entire roster was available for play outside of the Sixers new addition, Trevelin Queen, who was out with reconditioning.
The good guys trailed for the majority of the game, before storming back to make it a one-possession game with under a minute to go. The Grizz stole the ball from Springer, solidifying a victory, 103-99.
We all know, however, that the final score of these Summer League games don’t matter as much as the individual performances of key players. Here are the ones that stuck out the most:
Paul Reed (20 points, 15 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals, 53.3% shooting)
Unsurprisingly, Reed put on a show on both ends of the court. What was somewhat surprising was the fact that the Sixers started him alongside Charles Bassey, and played him as a four for the majority of the game. It’s possible that the Sixers might experiment with Reed as a four next to Embiid, but I think the reason behind this is just the team starting their most talented players.
Ironically, I do think the twin-center pairing messed up the Sixers’ offense quite a bit. There were often moments where the floor felt very cluttered. I wouldn’t be too shocked if the Sixers opt to start one of Reed or Bassey in the next game.
Reed put together a multitude of defensive moments with some offensive spurts. One of my personal favorite sequences was this catch-and-shoot three. The Sixers probably won’t ask him to do too much of this at the NBA level, but it was nice to see a no-hesitation shot from him.
Paul Reed catch and shoot three pic.twitter.com/gIytJrSjip— @Harrison_Grimm’s FilmBot (@76ersFilmRoom) July 5, 2022
Regardless, Reed shined. Bball Paul probably shouldn’t be playing Summer League, and this game reflects that. I guess some extra reps don’t hurt?
Jaden Springer (15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 33% shooting)
Springer had a night and day difference between both halves. The first half was rough, and he didn’t register a made field goal. The second half was an entirely different story, however, as Springer was more aggressive offensively slashing to the basket. He had a few nice finishes around the rim.
Jaden Springer jelly pic.twitter.com/5rfMnHCf48— @Harrison_Grimm’s FilmBot (@76ersFilmRoom) July 6, 2022
Outside of defense, the only other consistent thing Jaden did was draw fouls. He got to the free throw line ten times in just under 28 minutes of play — which is very solid. Springer did not make a three, though, which will ultimately make or break him getting any time next season.
Charles Bassey (7 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block , 28.6% shooting)
Bassey had a somewhat underwhelming performance. His stat line wasn’t bad by any means, but it certainly felt like tonight was an off night for him. He missed a few bunnies near the rim and often got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time in defensive rotations. The main positive I have for Bassey in tonight’s game was his offensive rebounding, where he logged four. I wouldn’t hit the panic button yet, however — most of this just seemed like rust. I’d expect him to put up some monster stat lines in the coming games.
Charlie Brown Jr. (15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 55.6% shooting)
CBJ probably won’t get the props he deserves for this performance. Overall, he was one of the most solid summer Sixers in this game. His defensive activity was a game changer, and you felt it every time he was on the court. It’s still an adventure every time he puts the ball on the floor, but he did have some nice cuts and knocked down a pair of threes. He’ll need to keep knocking down shots to break his way into the rotation, but this was a good performance for the Saint Joseph’s product.
Isaiah Joe (19 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 46.7% shooting)
This game was certainly a roller coaster for Isaiah Joe. I thought he held his own defensively, but the shots were streaky at best. Joe is a non-conscious shooter, which is a skill that this Sixers roster doesn’t have anywhere else (at least yet). There is absolutely a role to be had if he can become the reliable shooter he was in college.
Isaiah Joe step back 2 pic.twitter.com/CDJUwqGreJ— @Harrison_Grimm’s FilmBot (@76ersFilmRoom) July 5, 2022
Factoring in Trevelin Queen’s partially-guaranteed deal, and it’s safe to assume that there is some pressure for Joe to perform in this Summer League. While this wasn’t a bad performance by any means, Joe can be better.
Grant Riller (12 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal, 60% shooting)
Riller looked like an experienced vet Tuesday night. He was a bit turnover prone with three in just under 14 minutes, but had some quality moments offensively when the Sixers needed it most. This was the first time he’s played organized ball on a somewhat big stage since early this year, and for the most part he looked comfortable. Let’s hope he can stay healthy and showcase his talent moving forward.
Cassius Winston (4 points, 1 rebound, 8 assists, 1 steal)
The Sixers went with Winston as their starting point guard tonight. He didn’t take many shots — three to be exact — but his eight assists with zero turnovers deserve praise.