Summer League Game Preview | Phoenix Suns (7.12.18)

Written for Sixers.com by Ryan O'Neil

Scene Setter:

After starting the summer 0-3 with losses to the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Washington Wizards, the 76ers now have a clean slate.  They begin the tournament portion of the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League Thursday against the Phoenix Suns (6:30 PM EST), which went 3-0 in their three games.  

The winner of the game will advance to Saturday's second round of the tournament, while the loser will participate in a consolation game Friday.

The Sixers have been led by the trio of Furkan Korkmaz, Cam Oliver, and Zhaire Smith.  

Korkmaz had the highest-scoring game (40 pts) of any player in this year’s summer league in game one against the Celtics.

Oliver has impressed with his athleticism in Vegas, and has averaged 10.5 points and 7.0 boards per game.  

Smith’s athleticism was well-documented prior to the draft, but the first-round pick has also demonstrated an impactful feel for the game.  He has proved to be adept at setting up his teammates, and he is particularly skilled at turning defense into offense. Using his terrific instincts, Smith (8.3 pts, 2.7 apg, 1.7 spg) is able to initiate fast breaks and create easy buckets.  

Opponent Outlook:

The Phoenix Suns’ roster is laden with first-round picks, including DeAndre Ayton, who was the first-overall selection in this year’s draft.  Ayton has led the Suns in Las Vegas, averaging 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.

Josh Jackson, the no. 4 overall pick in 2017, has averaged 10.3 points per game.  Fellow 2017 draft pick, Davon Reed, has had a surprising outburst in Vegas, where he has averaged 13.3 points per game.  

Mikal Bridges, who was involved in the Sixers’ draft night trade with the Suns, has accounted for 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

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