This past Friday, the Sixers' young talent took the court in the Orlando Summer League championship. They faced the Memphis Grizzlies, and won the game in what seemed to be an effortless fashion. They defeated the Grizzlies 91-75, and did so with two of their biggest prospects in Nerlens Noel (rest) and K.J. McDaniels (sprained ankle) sidelined, while the Grizzlies had a fully loaded squad.
The Sixers’ defense just seemed to be too much for the Grizzlies to handle, as well as their offensive assault, as the Sixers seemed to be no stranger to the rim with multiple dunks. Hollis Thompson led the way with his best game of the summer league, pouring in 21 points (on 8-15 shooting) to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Ronald Roberts Jr. and JaKarr Sampson combined for 25 points and 15 boards. Jerami Grant, the rookie out of Syracuse, had a great defensive game, and added eight of his own points as well as a pair of blocks. The Sixers cruised to the win and are the 2014 Orlando Summer League Champions. The moment would be short live however, as they played their first game in the Las Vegas summer league the following day.
The Philadelphia 76ers first faced off against the Utah Jazz, consisting of Dante Exum and Trey Burke. The Sixers pulled off the 74-70 win, despite once again not playing with both Nerlens Noel and K.J. McDaniels, and also were without Casper Ware. Jordan McRae and Sean Kilpatrick both led the team with 20 points apiece (with 12 of McRae’s points coming in the fourth quarter). The Sixers next challenge would be against the number one pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavs proved to be a challenge for the Sixers. Nerlens Noel started the game with a strong spin move to the basket, and it would be a while before we saw much more from the Sixers. The team would go on to be down by as many as 21 points, but made an impressive run to come within four points with under three minutes to play in the game. The Cavaliers would hold on however, to hand the Sixers their first loss of the Las Vegas summer league (second summer loss overall), 86-77. Jordan McRae led the way with 18 points (on 5-12 shooting) and four steals. Nerlens Noel had 12 points (on 6-12 shooting), six rebounds, four blocks and two steals in the loss.
The 76ers are now 5-2 in summer league action. The team’s young talent is coming along just well, and Nerlens Noel seems to be getting more comfortable playing as each game passes. The team’s next game will be against the Phoenix Suns, which will be tonight at 8:00pm. The 76ers hope to bounce back from the loss, and continue their excellent summer play.
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