OPSL Postgame: Sixers 75 Pacers 96
Monday, July 8th, 1:00PM (EST) at Amway Center, Orlando, FL
by Max Rappaport
ORLANDO –– Despite his undrafted label, Khalif Wyatt is one of the better-known members of this year’s Sixers summer league squad. The Norristown High School-turned-Temple University star dazzled Big 5 fans with his scoring prowess and penchant for the spectacular. Monday, the 6’4” guard brought that same spark to the Orlando Pro Summer League (OPSL).
After struggling from the field in the Sixers’ first summer league game – going 4-of-15 from the field en route to nine points in an 88-80 loss to the Houston Rockets, Wyatt exploded in Monday’s 96-75 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
“Coaches in the locker room said, ‘Go have fun and play your game,’ and I took that in and just went out there and had fun,” said Wyatt after scoring a game-high 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting against Indiana. “It’s just basketball, at the end of the day. I’ve been playing basketball for a long time. Guys are bigger, stronger, faster [at summer league], but I just have to make adjustments and get used to it as it goes.”
Adjusting is something Wyatt has done his entire life. Born without some of the athletic gifts bestowed upon his peers, the crafty guard has gotten by on grit, hustle, and patience. At this level, he knows those traits will be his best ticket to success.
“I just know how to play,” he said. “I’m not the fastest guy, I can’t jump the highest, but I just know how to play and how to pick my spots and how to use angles.”
Wyatt and former Temple teammate Micheal Eric both started Monday’s game against the Pacers after coming off the bench Sunday.
Tightening Up On Offense
After committing 19 turnovers in Sunday’s OPSL opener, the Sixers did so just 10 times in Monday’s loss. Most impressive was point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who followed up a nine-turnover performance against the Rockets with a zero-turnover outing against the Pacers. He finished the game with 13 points and seven assists.
No Rest For Holiday
Justin Holiday missed the Sixers’ first OPSL game to be the best man in his brother Jrue’s wedding in Los Angeles. Last night, he took a red-eye flight from L.A. to Orlando, arriving at roughly 7AM. Holiday suited up anyway, contributing six points, three rebounds, and three assists in 23 minutes of play.
“I was exhausted, but that’s not an excuse,” said Holiday, referring to his 2-of-9 shooting performance. “I still feel I could have helped more than I did. [Next game], hopefully I can bounce back. If I don’t bounce back, then that is a problem.”
Next Game: Wednesday, 1PM vs. Oklahoma City
The Sixers are off Tuesday, but will return to action with a 1PM game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. You can watch that game on NBA TV.