Philadelphia 76ers Summer League: 3 Takeaways From the loss to the Brooklyn Nets

76ers Jazz Summer League Basketball
Philadelphia 76’s Charles Bassey (23) brings down a high pass and tries to spin to the hoop on Utah Jazz’s Caleb Homesley (61) in summer league basketball game in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. (Scott G Winterton/The Deseret News via AP)

The Philadelphia 76ers lost their second game in Las Vegas in as many days Sunday afternoon. Sixers guard, Isaiah Joe, did not return after halftime with a shoulder injury. Joe has been a standout so far this summer for the Sixers. He has shot nine of eleven from deep in 40 minutes in the Las Vegas Summer League.

With Joe out, the rest of the Summer Sixers had to step up some of the scoring. Cassius Winston led the team in scoring with 16 of the team’s 84 points. It wasn’t enough as the Brooklyn Nets’ second-year duo, Cam Thomas and David Duke Jr., scored 10 out of the last 13 points for the Nets.

Cassius Winston’s Decision Making

The six-foot-one guard from Michigan State has been an example of consistency this summer. On Sunday, Winston showed his ability to find his teammates as well as his own shot. He was made the right decisions with the basketball and continued to run the offense smoothly.

Against the Nets, Winston had 16 points, shooting seven of 11 from the field and two of four from deep, with seven assists and five rebounds. Leading the team in points and assists. Here late in the game, after multiple empty possessions for the Sixers, Winston is patient after the screen from Bassey to get to his spot on the floor. That is a move only veterans make.

Cassius Winston doesn’t have the upside like some other guys on the Philadelphia 76ers Summer League roster, but so far, he’s playing well enough to get a training camp invite. Maybe even a two-way contract on a different NBA team, if not the Sixers. The Philadelphia 76ers may look to retain him with the lack of point guard depth on its roster, even if it’s with the Delaware Blue Coats.

Malik Ellison’s Defense

The former University of Hartford Hawks was inserted into the starting lineup against the Nets after he only played in the final minute of the game on Saturday. Malik Ellison logged 25 minutes with eight points, five rebounds, three blocks, and one steal.

Each game, Ellison continues to show his value on the defensive end of the floor. He has had a number of highlight blocks so far this summer, but the most impressive part is his active hands. He has shown he can be a pest for primary ball handlers, getting in passing lanes, and being good as a weakside rim protector for his size.

The six-foot-six wing still needs to show some more growth on offense in the final few games this summer. Despite his limitations on offense, Ellison should get a training camp invite for his defense alone.

Jaden Springer Gaining Confidence

Each game, we have seen more growth from Jaden Springer. He has proven why the Philadelphia 76ers used a first-round selection just a year prior. We’ve heard his defense has been NBA-ready since he was drafted. This summer, we have clearly seen that to be true.

He was one of many defenders on Brooklyn’s Cam Thomas. Thomas finished as the game’s highest scorer, but he was inefficient from the field, shooting five of 17 from the floor and one of three from beyond the arc.

Against the Nets, we saw Spring be more confident on the offensive floor. He took the second-most shots on the team with 12. Although he wasn’t very efficient. He had a handful of mid-range jump shots and had four attempts from three.

Springer is not a prolific scorer right now, and he very well might not be in his career. As his confidence continues to grow and his game continues to develop, he should earn more minutes on the 76ers roster. It will happen as his confidence grows and his ability to make shots continues to develop.

What to Watch For in the Next 76ers Game?

Philadelphia 76ers’ third-year guard Isaiah Joe’s status is still unknown for the next two summer league games. If Joe misses time, keep an eye on Trevelin Queen to take over some of the scoring load. He has struggled to find his shot at times but has still made an impact this summer with his defense and passing.

Julian Champagnie is another player to watch. He didn’t play Sunday but is under one of the Sixers’ two-way spots right now.

The Philadelphia 76ers are off until Wednesday night when they play the Miami Heat at 9 PM EST on ESPN2.

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