Sadly the Sixers lost their second game of Summer League. It hurt a little more because it was a loss to the Boston Celtics. Even though the Sixers lost, the point of Summer League is to see what young talent the Sixers have. A lot of the observations made were the same from game one. So I will focus on not repeating myself and try to highlight what stood out the most.
Zhaire looks like the most NBA ready of all the young players on the team. He once again led in plus-minus with a plus 10 and just looks really good. He never tries to do too much he sticks to what he is good at; Which is playing hard great perimeter defense, making cuts and taking open shots. Once again the shot is weird but he is willing to take threes so that is good. Out of all of the young guys, I think he will get the most minutes to start and will be able to contribute right away.
Matisse is still very rough around the edges. The defensive IQ is there and he will be a good defender in time but he is going to need some time to adjust to the NBA. He shot 44% from three this game and looks comfortable shooting. Ben will be able to find him open shots and he will be willing to take them. But Thybulle just does not look completely ready to play regularly on an NBA team yet.
He at times looks overwhelmed and is very limited offensively, however also seems very comfortable shooting catch-and-shoot threes and looks uncomfortable doing anything else. He had a nice basket finishing under the rim but he will need to be able to do that more often if he wants to play in the NBA. I think Matisse will be a very good NBA player in the future but Sixers fans should be patient and not expect too much early on. He will have bad games and at times might look lost. That is okay, it’s very early days in his development.
Marial Shayok got to play with the starters and finished with a plus 2. He is not the greatest player but he can shoot and really is making the most of his opportunity in Summer League. I do not think he will be a great player, but his shooting ability should see him find several landing spots throughout his career.
With Richardson running point and the rest just trying to create space and shoot threes, I may be falling in love with Shayok just because this team’s lack of shooting scares me. If he continues to keep shooting the ball this well I think he will deserve some bench minutes.
Here are just a couple of other observations from the game. Norvel Pelle is looking like he might be able to become a pretty good back up center. A team that has Embiid, an injury prone center, and Horford, a 33-year-old center, having a third option in Pelle is not bad at all.
The Sixers signed Kyle O’Quin, but having multiple options is better than too little. Shake Milton is consistently not winning me over. He just does not pop off the screen at all.
Carson Edwards for the Celtics looked great. You’ll know him as the man originally drafted by the Sixers this year before he was traded to the Celtics in order to get Matisse.
I really like what I am seeing from this Sixers Summer League and hope to see more positive developments from these players.
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports