Sixers struggle against undefeated Pistons

The Sixers continued their Summer League action against the Detroit Pistons. Sadly for the Sixers, they were not able to end the Pistons’ undefeated streak in the Summer League, the Pistons would go on to win the game by a final score of 98 to 81. Although the Sixers did not win the game, there were still some bright spots from the Sixers’ players. Here is my breakdown of some of the key Summer Sixers. 

Matisse Thybulle

The kid continues to impress. The 20th overall pick had another good outing today against the Pistons. Thybulle has shown again that he is ready to come in and step into a role this season for the Sixers and be able to contribute. His defensive abilities continue to shine as he had multiple plays that highlighted his high defensive IQ. Thybulle is showing great ability to get his hands in the passing lanes and be able to pick passes and turn them into easy offense. He also had a nice play chasing down a fast break and being able to break up the play for the Sixers to be able to set up on defensive.

Another thing that stood out today is that Thybulle tried to insert himself into the offense. He came out very aggressive on offense and got the Sixers back in the game after the Pistons got off to a hot start. Whether it was catch-and-shoot threes, easy dunks in transition, or putting the ball on the deck and getting to the rim on his own, Matisse has shown that he will be able to score in multiple ways. His all-around skill set is very Robert Covington-like, which is a good sign. I am very excited to see what he can do surround by NBA talent this season. 

Today’s stats: 22 MIN, 12 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL

Norvel Pelle 

I think that it is pretty clear as to what the Sixers are going to get from Pelle on a two-way this season. A high energy rim running center that is very frantic on defense. Although Pelle has shown good ability switching on defense and protecting the rim, there is one big hole in his game. He needs to learn how to stay out of foul trouble. From early on in this game, Pelle racked up some unnecessary fouls. Once he learns how to show more discipline on the defensive end of the ball and pick his spots, he is going to develop nicely.

He continued his high energy play today, racking up a handful of both rebounds and blocks, but his fouls kept him from getting extended runs in the game. One big positive is that when Pelle is up with the Sixers, he will have the opportunity to be around newly acquired Al Horford, who is a veteran big who can help him learn to be more disciplined on defense. Outside of his foul trouble, Norvel played well today. 

Today’s stats: 22 MIN, 6 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 3 BLK

Marial Shayok

Shayok might be the biggest surprise of the Summer Sixers for me. I am very excited to see what he is going to do on a two-way contract for the Sixers this season. The confidence that he plays with on offense to get to his spots and knock down shots is really good to see. His jumpshot looks great, and he has shown on multiple occasions that he can knock down shots off the dribble and spot up.

Shayok also showed that he can stretch the floor knocking down two three-pointers in today’s game. He is a solid defender on the other end of the ball and racked up a good amount of rebounds in his time today. Marial’s ability to put his head down and get to the rim for a bucket is good, and at his size and build, it is something that will be able to translate to the next level.

Spending time is Delaware this season is going to give him the chance to polish his skills offensively and have the ball in his hands a lot. Although it will be a small sample size this year, I am interested to see what he can do against NBA defenses. 

Today’s stats: 22 MIN, 11 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST

Zhaire Smith

Zhaire Smith continues to show that he is ready for extended NBA action this season. Every time he steps on the court, he looks more and more confident, which is great to see. He looks ready to slide into an NBA role this season off the bench for the Sixers. His jumpshot continues to look great, as he hit shots off screens and was able to create his shots off the dribble.

Smith’s growing confidence is just what the Sixers need from him coming into the season. His ability to space the floor with his shot and create for himself is something that the Sixers are going to need from their role players. Along with his good offensive play, he also continues to show good defensive ability. Zhaire is a great athlete, and it translates on both ends of the ball. He will be able to come into games and lock down guards this season on defense. 

Today’s stats: 24 MIN, 11 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST

Grades

Overall: B

Mattise Thybulle: B+

Norvel Pelle: C+

Marial Shayok: B

Zhaire Smith: B