Sixers-Bulls Vegas Summer League

The Sixers (2-3) squared off with the Chicago Bulls (4-1) in their final game of the Las Vegas Summer League on Saturday night. Philadelphia committed 21 turnovers in what was nearly a Summer League record for points allowed in a 119-104 defeat.

Chicago started Dalen Terry, Carlik Jones, Malcolm Hill, Justin Lewis, and Marko Simonovic.

Philadelphia started Trevelin Queen, Charlie Brown Jr., Malik Ellison, Justin Smith, and Filip Petrusev. 


Trevelin Queen’s court vision is difficult to grasp. On one hand, every time he comes off a ball screen or gets possession in transition, he’s letting it fly from beyond the arc. If he has space in front of him, it doesn’t matter who else is open because he’s pulling the trigger. On the other hand, if he is tasked with navigating tight spaces with the ball, Queen suddenly resorts to his court vision for some beautiful passes. That sounds simple enough; leverage your gravity to create shots for others, that’s what point guards and shot-creators do. But, Queen vacillates between seeing looks that have yet to present themselves and seeing nothing but the basket. I like the court vision when he flashes it; I don’t like the inconsistency with which he goes to it. Perhaps those vast gifts — in their scarce usage — add up to a partially guaranteed deal. Evidently, the Sixers think there’s something into which they can tap.

Time will tell whether Grant Riller gets a legitimate shot in the NBA. If he doesn’t, it’s going to be because of his lack of size. But, that doesn’t perturb his style of play at all. Riller’s scoring game is extremely natural. He finds a path around every obstacle that presents as he drives to the cup. And if he doesn’t like what is materializing, that’s fine; Riller is more than comfortable to take an enormous plant and step back to create space for a jumper. He nailed a step-back jumper in the middle of the floor after cutting across from the left wing in the first half. Riller also flashed some ability to play off the ball, knocking in a contested three off the catch fading towards the left baseline. He can score at three levels, but whether he can do it against NBA defenses is all that matters. Unfortunately, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether we’ll ever have a chance to find out.

Malik Ellison didn’t put up massive numbers in summer play, but he played the game the right way and became a noteworthy standout. He added a few more cuts behind defenders to the highlight reel, showing a desirable off-ball game. Ellison made it easy to envision a role for him within an offense at the next level. He didn’t stray far from team concepts, reading his backcourt mate intuitively and picking up scores by being in the right place at the right time. If you’re evaluating for fit, Ellison deserves a spot in the program, even if only at the G-League level. 

Filip Petrusev blocked 3 Bulls shots in rapid succession at one point in the first half. He showcased impressive instincts as a rim-protector and weak-side rotater, contorting his body and re-focusing while in the air to deter shots when finishers tried to avoid him with extra polish at the rim.


On the other hand, Petrusev flat-out gets bullied up and down the court. He can neither drive through contact nor move defenders digging in and getting under him. If a defender in his way plants a leg with authority, Petrusev will fall over the protruding limb and and travel. Keep in mind, these are Summer Leaguers. Most of them will never touch an NBA court. If he cannot handle the physicality on either side of the court against guys who may never make an NBA roster, why should anyone believe he can offer much of a fight against the most physical people in basketball?


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