Sixers Lead

3 Takeaways from Sixers Summer League

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The Sixers concluded the preliminary round of the Vegas Summer League Wednesday afternoon. While it started out very well with the young squad showing a lot of energy and promise, the first round ended with three straight bad losses. This is, however, the Summer League, meaning that individual player improvement takes center stage over team results. That being said, the Summer League is still a joy to watch, and here are three clear takeaways from the first four in Vegas.

1. Zhaire and Matisse living up to expectations

Yes, it is Summer League and performances are not necessarily indicative of what the final product will be during the regular season, but inability to perform well is a red flag. For Zhaire Smith and Matisse Thybulle, however, this is not the case. Zhaire has returned with the same fire that made him an intriguing prospect in last year’s draft. It’s great to see him play with energy and perform after the trauma he experienced during his rookie campaign. Averaging 14.0 PPG on 47% from the field over the first four, he’s boosting his case to be a key asset off the bench during the regular season.

 

 

2019 first round pick Matisse Thybulle is also performing as expected. The defensive-minded Thybulle has been disruptive on defense, notching 2.0 steals per game and stopping fast breaks. With the Sixers post-free agency lineup seeming more defense-oriented, Thybulle could slide right in as a worthy bench player capable of holding it down on D. With a bit more work, expect him to contribute fairly soon to the lineup.

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2. Injury bug may still be real

It’s no secret that Philadelphia has dealt with their fair share of injuries to young player over recent years. From Embiid to Simmons to Fultz, young talent just can’t seem to stay healthy. Shake Milton seemed poised to gain experience this summer, but an ankle sprain caused his stint to end before he could get going. Norvel Pelle also left the third summer game with an ankle injury. Marial Shayok had a short stint on the injury report with left knee soreness. Pelle and Shayok are no longer on the injured list, but the team is still being cautious with them. While none of these injuries may be long-term issues, they decrease the chance for experience these players need.

3. Young Guys have energy and grit

Look no further than Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Down by as many as 31, this young group battled back to send the game to OT, despite coming up short in the end. In the Summer League opener, the team threw ridiculous alley oops and the players thoroughly enjoyed the moment. This is a great sign, considering stars such as Embiid and Simmons are known to enjoy theatrics during the game. When things got close towards the end, the team didn’t waiver and was able to hit clutch shots at the end to seal the victory.

Overall, the players that were expected to show good results did. Others affected by injury may still have their chance to show off, but time is running out. Though only four games have been played, these young guys have shown enough to prove exactly what kind of players they can grow and develop into once the regular season begins.

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About Dave Pedron

As a Pennsylvania native, Penn State grad, and diehard Sixers fan, I'm very excited to cover the team and usher in the next chapter of the Process.

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