Sixers Summer League observations: Terquavion Smith continues to impress

Nick Nurse
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Nick Nurse takes questions from the media during a press conference at the NBA basketball team’s facility, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Camden, N.J. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

The Sixers came into Wednesday night’s Summer League game looking for a different outcome than their loss against the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night. Despite impressive performances by Terquavion Smith and Ricky Council, the Sixers fell to Memphis by a score of 92-94.

Against the Utah Jazz, Philadelphia found their identity, at least for the summer, as physicality on both ends led them to a 104-94 victory. Here’s what stood out:

Terquavion Smith

To have the confidence of Terquavion Smith would surely be something.

The Sixers’ electric guard continues to captive with his quick trigger and activity both with and without the ball. Finishing with 15 points and five assists, Smith continues to show the potential of a quality combo guard.

Despite a bit of a struggle with his efficiency, Smith is building quite the case to earn the occasional minute or two once the regular season begins.

Ricky Council continues to show flashes

While he didn’t have the most efficient night from the field, Ricky Council continued to show flashes of an NBA player. His athleticism was unmatched on the court, his physicality set the tone, and he even impressed as a playmaker.

There continues to be much work to be done regarding his shot, but the overall development of future dunk contest champion Ricky Council IV is encouraging and will be an exciting watch throughout the rest of the Summer League.

Nick Nurse makes an impact

It was a surprise to see the Sixers’ recently hired head coach make the decision to also coach the team’s Summer League roster, but it has been an interesting peek into what Nick Nurse can bring to Philadelphia’s squad. Constant adjustments and a suffocating zone made the difference in tonight’s game, as did the commitment to attack the paint with reckless abandon. It’s rare that one can say that about a Summer League game, but that appears to be the Nick Nurse effect.

Javonte Smart and DJ Steward

That’s it; I’ve seen enough. Build around Javonte Smart and DJ Steward.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit premature, but for the second straight game, the pair of guards continued to show out. Smart finished with a game-high 19 points while sinking three of his six three-point attempts on the night. DJ Steward meanwhile contributed 15 points of his own.

It’s unlikely either has a lasting career with the Sixers, at least in the near future, but both Smart and Steward are enjoying great auditions for the rest of the league.

Filip Petruzev

Another fine game for Filip Petruzev. That’s the issue with Petruzev; there’s nothing that stands out from his game. He’s an adequate rebounder, a big body down low, and a capable paint defender, at least in summer league.

Questions still loom about how productive he can be at the next level against NBA quality competition. If his decision-making continues to stall, there isn’t much hope to be had.