The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 107-106 in their Summer League opener on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas. Matisse Thybulle proved his defensive abilities, Shake Milton ran the offense, Zhaire Smith treated this game like a dunk contest and much more went on in the team's Summer League opener.
Matisse Thybulle's first game as a 76er
Matisse Thybulle had an up-and-down game on Friday afternoon, showcasing his defensive abilities but having a down game offensively. In his first game, albeit in the Summer League, in a 76ers uniform, Thybulle's ability to play the passing lanes quickly stood out, grabbing three steals in the team's win over the Bucks. On the offensive end, Thybulle was hesitant at times and never really got into a groove. He scored seven points while taking only six shots from the field. However, four of those shots were from three-point range (he went 1-of-4).
Shake Milton's abilities as a point guard
Shake Milton, recently signed to a four-year contract, showed that he can successfully run the offense. He totaled seven assists and the offense looked like it had a little bit of cohesion when he was on the floor. However, he wasn't able to get his shot going on Friday afternoon, shooting a meager 2-of-14 from the field. The 76ers know that Milton is a good outside shooter and were more looking to see his ability to run an offense. Expect Milton's shooting to bounce back in tomorrow's game against the Boston Celtics.
Zhaire Smith shows off athleticism, had some highlight reel dunks
Zhaire Smith is a player who 76ers fans are looking forward to seeing play. He had a rough rookie season in which he missed most of it due to a broken foot and then he suffered an allergic reaction that nearly cost him his life. However, he is back on the floor and healthy now and he looked like his old self in Friday's win over Milwaukee. He threw down a multitude of dunks that showcased the athleticism that made him a prized prospect in the NBA Draft two years ago. Smith finished with an efficient 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Smith also had a good game on the defensive end of the floor, giving 76ers fans a reason to be excited with the potential defensive pairing of him and rookie Matisse Thybulle. He had a steal and a block in the win over the Bucks. He finished with the highest plus-minus (+11) on the team in Friday's Summer League opener.
Marial Shayok shows his scoring ability
Marial Shayok, drafted by the 76ers with the 54th overall pick in this year's NBA Draft, had a tremendous game as a scorer. He led the team with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Shayok wasn't much of a scorer in college until his senior year at Iowa State, where he averaged 18.7 points. If he can continue to score and shoot efficiently, he might earn a spot on the team's 15-man roster. He is guaranteed a spot on the roster as at least a two-way player, but if he can continue to score and shoot efficiently, he might be able to guarantee himself a full-time spot on the 15-man roster.
Norvel Pelle and Christ Koumadje make case to make the 15-man roster
In Norvel Pelle and Christ Koumadje, the Sixers have themselves two big men who can excel at captaining the team on the defensive end of the floor. Pelle, who was recently signed to a two-way contract, totaled 12 points and seven rebounds while being a terror on defense, totaling two steals and three blocks.
Koumadje finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and an incredible five blocks in only 14 minutes. The 7-foot-4 big man went undrafted in this year's draft, but the 76ers quickly grabbed him up for the Summer League and will potentially sign him to a two-way contract. If he continues to play like this throughout the remainder of the team's Summer League games, the 76ers will have no choice but to keep him and give him a two-way contract.