76ers Summer League basketball concluded on Friday where lots of young talent got the opportunity to prove themselves in front of coaches and staff, but more importantly in front of the fans!
After a 19 win season the Sixers young Summer League roster was out to show improvement. This team – coached by regular season assistant coach Lloyd Pierce – was not top-of-the-line talent; as was every other NBA team competing, instead full of mostly rookies, Development League players, or second year players still fighting for a roster spot.
Casual Sixers and NBA fans may have found it tough to watch exhibition basketball from Orlando and Las Vegas but the die-hards are all over the games. After 11 total games collectively from both locations the City of Brotherly Love has a few takeaways to buzz about.
THEY WON THE FREAKING CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!
Yes the ALL CAPS is necessary because I do not get to type that sentence very often. And even though the Sixers were not showered in confetti and champagne nor had a parade held for them; and not to mention that the opposing talent pool wasn’t particularly difficult, it still means a lot to those fans.
19 wins – or 63 rebuilding losses — in a 82 game stretch is a long process for Philly fans and even the team itself. Here’s what else to take away from Orlando and Las Vegas.
Duh. He has been at the top of who-to-watch list all over Philly and even nationally. Sitting and waiting for Nerlens since draft night 2013 and finally got a glimpse. At minimum, he met expectations and in most fans eyes surpassed them.
Here at @PhillyHoopsTalk were still working out the best nickname for the 19 year old Center. The Nerlen Wall? Hi-Top-Fade? The Eraser? But either way his game play is what matters.
It’s been speculated and so far he has shown to be an absolute steal, at pick number 32, in the 2014 draft. This Clemson Small Forward has posted quality numbers but his defensive game is what should excite spectators.
Watching alley-oops and flashy passes will tailor to a good amount of NBA viewers but a sound defensive game is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
KJ stepped up, particularly against the Cleveland Cavaliers where he personally guarded up against the #1 overall draft selection for 2014. Andrew Wiggins had his flashy moments against the Sixers squad but was held to a mere 4 points when McDaniels was covering.
These are the little things in a season to watch out for but collectively these ‘little things’ add up to be something spectacular.
Like his fellow draftee, KJ McDaniels, Grant was another speculated steal at pick number 39. He managed to play in all 11 games in Orlando and Las Vegas
Jerami has some experience playing with Michael Carter-Williams when they both attended and played Syracuse.
But where the hope lies is within his family tree. Jerami is the son of Harvey Grant and nephew of Horace Grant. After posting 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 11 games, Jerami, is on his way to–hopefully–posting numbers close to his uncle (11.2ppg & 8.1apg).
He only played in four Summer League games but managed to flash during them. He was one of the standouts last season for the Sixers and slowly but surely became a (non-casual) fan-favorite. He supported that cause by averaging 13 points and 8 rebounds and is definitely someone to lookout for going forward.
He’s not playing but he sure as hell is keeping Twitter users entertained.
Ryan C. Armstrong