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The Philadelphia 76ers opened up the 2022 summer session in Salt Lake City on Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies just looking to grow their youngsters. It’s the summer so now is the time to ensure that everybody is able to grow and continue to develop as young players.
The Sixers were able to get some good play from their summer league veterans in Paul Reed and Isaiah Joe, but the Sixers could not stop the Grizzlies from deep in a tough 103-99 loss to open up the summer. Memphis was 15-for-30 from deep. Philadelphia will have two more games in Utah before they head to Las Vegas.
Reed had 20 points, 15 rebounds, and four steals to lead Philadelphia, Joe had 19 points, Charles Bassey had seven points and six rebounds, and Jaden Springer had 15 points. Charlie Brown Jr. hopped off the bench and had 15 points and seven rebounds while Grant Riller added 12 points.
Here are some observations from the summer league opener:
One thing is for sure, Reed has reached the “too good for summer league” stage of his young career. Per Rookie Wire, Reed is only set to play in the Utah version of the summer league and that is probably a good idea. There is no need to really have him out in Vegas as he looked like a man among boys out there. He showed off some high IQ plays too which is a welcomed sight for Philadelphia.
It would have been nice to see Joe put the ball on the floor a bit more in this one, but he knocked down a couple of triples on a high number of attempts and that is what the Sixers want to see. He has a lot of potential to be a scorer at the NBA level so this is his opportunity to prove he can do that. The summer league is supposed to be easy for him. He also was solid on the defensive end of the floor when playing 1-on-1.
After a rough first half where he looked a bit overmatched, Springer was very good after halftime. He was getting to the basket, he showed off his athleticism, and he had some really tough finishes in the midst of traffic. This is a performance that he can continue to build off and it was an encouraging start to the summer league. He had an impressive defensive play on Xavier Tillman late to give the Sixers a chance as well. However, he also had a critical turnover that cost Philadelphia a chance to tie it.
Bassey was not able to make a real impact in this one as Reed really stole the show in terms of the big men. He had a few opportunities around the basket that he was unable to convert so that is something he will be looking to improve upon as the summer continues. He will certainly have his opportunities, however, so the Sixers will look for him to grow from this.
Charlie Brown Jr.
Heading into his fourth season, Brown Jr. needs a big summer league in order to stay on Philadelphia’s radar in terms of wing depth. He had a big offensive night off the bench and the best part about it was that it came from his defensive work. He ran the floor well and he also knocked down a couple of 3-pointers.
A Sixers two-way player to begin the 2021-22 season before an injury set him back, Riller is getting another opportunity with Philadelphia in the summer league. A member of the Charlotte Hornets in the 2020-21 season, Riller was efficient with his offense as he made it look easy out there off the bench. He is another guy who needs to have a big summer league before the 2022-23 season.
The undrafted rookies
Both Michael Foster Jr. and Aminu Mohammed had some really solid moments in this one. Foster Jr. had some really good defensive plays being able to stay in front of his opponent, he got his hands in the passing lanes, showed off his athleticism, and attacked the glass. Mohammed was able to get into the paint quite a few times on the offensive end as he made some plays for himself and his teammates. The three steals for him are a great number as well.