Three takeaways as Sixers beat Heat in sloppy Summer League matchup

Thunder 76ers Basketball
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers guard Trevelin Queen (9) during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game Thursday, July 7, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger)

The Sixers faced off with the Miami Heat in their third summer league matchup in Las Vegas. This was an especially sloppy game even by Summer League standards. Both teams sat notable members of their summer roster including Isaiah Joe and Jaden Springer for the Sixers. The teams combined for 37 total turnovers and neither team shot above 24% on three-point attempts.

Ultimately the Sixers came out with a victory despite doing their best effort to blow the game with late turnovers. Philly led 72-63 with 1:51 left to play before a flurry of turnovers and poor fouls gave the Heat a chance to tie it with under 20 seconds to play. Regardless, the Sixers came out on top by a score of 75-71.

Malik Ellison Makes a Statement

The Summer league is all about opportunity and Malik Ellison is a guy who is taking advantage of his. The Hartford product has brought a strong spark to the team and last night was no different. Ellison ended with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal. The scrappy forward plays bigger than his 6’6″ size and has impressive athleticism. It is difficult to shine in the summer league with his style of play, but the 25-year-old did a great job cutting and making the little things happen.

There is a strong case for Malik Ellison to latch on to the Sixers’ second two-way contract. As things currently stand Julian Champagnie is set to hold this spot, but the Saint Johns product has had a disappointing summer league. Ellison has been much more impactful and plays with high-level energy.

Trevelin Queen’s Ups and Downs

There have been some highs and lows with Trevelin Queen. The reigning G-League MVP is a willing shooter with impressive shot creation and has proven to be a better passer than advertised. Queen started off the game strongly and had a few notable difficult passes which he completed to cutters and rollers. He ultimately ended with a team-high 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. The 25-year-old also shot 3 for 8 on three-point attempts.

On the negative side of things, Queen led both teams with 6 turnovers. He also played a major role in the Sixers meltdown to end the game. He had a harmful turnover with 1:04 left to play with the Heat trailing by 6 points. Queen was caught in a trap and former Sixer Haywood Highsmith ended up coming out with the ball. He also had an unnecessary foul with 20 seconds left to play which sent the Heat to the line while trailing by four points.

To some extent, Trevelin Queen is not a guy who is shines in a summer league setting. He is a pure hooper whose style provides a nice contrast in more organized basketball settings. In the Summer League setting, he has seemed to get lost a bit. The New Mexico State product has shown some nice flashes but hasn’t locked in his spot on the roster in the way it was hoped.

Michael Foster Jr Continues to Show Flashes

One of the more interesting players on the Sixers summer league roster is Michael Foster Jr. The former top-recruit produced at a fairly high level in his lone season with the G-League Ignite, but did not generate much draft buzz. The biggest red flag in his game was on the defensive side of the ball and the 19-year-old has made a strong statement to change this narrative. Foster has been a positive shot-blocking presence and also looked good when switched out on the perimeter.

He ended the matchup with the Heat with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and a block. Foster recently inked an Exhibit 10 deal with the Sixers which is a promising sign for his future. There is a lot to like about his game and he is a good guy to keep an eye on moving forward.

There were more negative takeaways from this matchup than there have been in the previous few games. Charlie Brown Jr shot 0-9 from the field. Filip Petrusev still lacks an offensive game, and Charles Bassey was held scoreless in the matchup. Bassey did continue to show a willingness to step outside and shoot jumpers, however he obviously did not find success.

The Sixers have one remaining summer league game following this victory. Their final matchup will be against the Denver Nuggets on Friday at 6:00 EST. This will be the final chance for each player to make their final impression for why they should stick with the Sixers organization longterm.

AP Photo/Jeff Swinger