The Sixers (1-2) faced off with the Denver Nuggets (2-1) in Las Vegas Summer League action on Friday night. Trevelin Queen posted 17 points, 5, rebounds, and 5 assists as Philadelphia routed Denver, 97-71.
Philadelphia started Trevelin Queen, Isaiah Joe, Charlie Brown Jr., Justin Smith, and Charles Bassey.
Denver started Collin Gillespie, Christian Braun, Matt Mitchell, Peyton Watson, and Ismael Kamagate.
After missing basically two games with shoulder soreness, Isaiah Joe was available to play. After a touch of rust to start the game, Joe warmed up from deep quite rapidly. We can certainly over-analyze Summer League, but this is the most consistent string of good play Joe has had thus far in his career.
The only thing worth detracting from the shooting efficiency he’s shown is that many of the shots he’s taking are coming off the dribble and in other situations outside of the context in which he’ll have the ball. You can never have enough shot creation behind your starting unit, but Joe isn’t going to be a ball-dominant player if he plays real minutes for the Sixers. He’ll be an off-ball threat spacing the floor for Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey. It would be easier to mentally place him in the rotation if he were moving off the ball and splashing off the catch. But at the end of the day, shooting is shooting, regardless of whether or not you create your own shot.
After settling into the pace of Summer League play, Mike Foster has shown flashes of a multi-faceted offensive game. First it was the midrange jumper, which showed up over the Sixers’ last two games before Friday’s contest. He had a few strong bursts to the rim attacking close-outs on swing passes against the Heat. Then, he sported a tight handle in a crowd of Nuggets before finishing in transition on Friday. Late in the second half, he made a crisp pass to Tyler Bey in the weak-side corner after catching the ball as he moved towards the basket.
Pessimism about his ability to play a meaningful role for the NBA club this season is understandable. But, there are baseline skills in his 6-foot-8 frame. There’s certainly some long-term intrigue in trying to develop him. Foster hasn’t been loud or prolific in his good moments. But, it looks like a decent find on the undrafted free agent market.
The Sixers absolutely throttled Denver from start to finish. There is almost no stock to put into Summer League, but they deserve a nod for beating the doors off of their opponent.
Perhaps it’s just me, but the NBA TV broadcast has been horrible throughout Summer League. It’s not the commentators or anything that are problematic. It’s the technical production. The image is pixelated, skipping, or both. Just a terrible experience watching games that are mostly not very good to begin with. I suppose that means I’m not missing much?
The Sixers (2-2) will play the Chicago Bulls (3-1) on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 PM, Eastern time. You can catch the game on ESPN3.