I seriously can’t remember a time when I was this excited for the NBA Summer League. Despite this stretch of basketball usually going under the radar amongst most NBA fans, with the 76ers fielding a lineup consisting of Shake Milton, Zhaire Smith, and Matisse Thybulle, it seems the Philly faithful are showing out in bunches to support our young studs.
With expectations through the roof for the main roster 76ers, it appears our Summer League staff is setting similar standards as well. Zhaire Smith and Matisse Thybulle were both drafted with the intention of them being major rotational pieces. And with Shake receiving a brand new 4-year contract no less than a week ago, it’s obvious the Sixers front office expects similar production from him. As far as Summer League squads go, this years 76ers one is a good one, I’ll be breaking down the first two games as we kick off some 2019 summer b-ball.
Game 1: July 5th, 2019
Game one of Summer League started with an emphatic, yet extremely stressful, dub. Despite at points holding a 20+ lead, the Sixers let the Bucks come all the way back and barely held on. Shake Milton led the way for Philly dropping 15 points and 7 assists. Despite shooting just 2-14, anyone who watched the game will tell you how composed he looked. He was an NBA player amongst a bunch of rookies and G-Leaguers. This is really promising for a guy who most likely will be running backup point for us this season.
Matisse Thybulle put in a respectable 7 points and 3 steals, while Zhaire put on an absolute dunk show, along with 10 points and 5 assists. For someone who literally almost died last year, Zhaire was showing off some FREAKY athleticism. Awesome stuff.
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) July 5, 2019
Other notable performers included this year’s 2nd-round pick Marial Shayok dropping 19 off the bench. He seems to have a genuine knack for scoring, doing a little bit of everything. Not sure how this will translate to the NBA, but he looked really good against his current competition. 26 year old big man Norvel Pelle also really stood out to me, blocking 3 shots and being a general defensive presence at the rim.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) July 5, 2019
Game 2: July 6th, 2019
Remember when we all said missing out on Carsen Edwards would come back to haunt us? Well I guess that haunting stuff is starting early, as Edwards dropped 20 points and 5 threes, as he led the Celtics to a win over our 76ers. Despite the loss, Matisse continued to show why we should all be really excited about him, as he put up 15 points along with 4 threes.
Shayok and Pelle continued to impress me, with Shayok pouring in 14 points and Pelle grabbing 13 boards along with another 3 blocks. I specifically think Pelle could see some potential main roster time in the future. He’s comparable to Jonah Bolden size-wise, but could be a little better defensively.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) July 6, 2019
Our new backup PG had a really rough night, shooting 2-15 from the field along with going 0-8 from three. After the game ended, Sixers nation immediately seemed to turn on Shake. I’m here to tell you to R-E-L-A-X. It’s a random Summer League game in early July, this is not an accurate representation of who Shake is. Milton lit up the G-League at just 22 years old, he will continue to improve and ultimately be a strong part in our rotation.
The next 76ers Summer League game takes place Monday afternoon at 3:00PM ET. They’ll take on Hamidou Diallo and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
-David Esser via Philly Sports Insider
~stats taken from NBA.com~
~images taken from @sixers~