3 observations after Sixers fall to another close summer loss

3 observations after Sixers fall to another close summer loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Sixers couldn’t quite manage a winning record during their brief stay in the Salt Lake City summer league.

They fell to a 93-85 loss Wednesday night to the Jazz and finished with a 1-2 record in Utah.

Second-year Jazz guard Keyonte George scored 31 points. Ricky Council IV’s 20 topped the Sixers.

The Sixers will play their opening game in the Las Vegas summer league Saturday night vs. the Pistons. Here are observations on their defeat to the Jazz:

Council’s slams and triples 

Council hammered home a fast-break dunk in the first quarter. He outdid that effort in the second by essentially passing to himself with a hard slam of the ball off the hardwood right before his liftoff.

Council made back-to-back three-pointers late in the second period and jammed in a third-quarter reverse dunk.

After a subpar game Tuesday in the Sixers’ defeat to the Grizzlies, Council bounced back well. Overall, he shot 8 for 19 from three-point range in Salt Lake City and went 14 for 16 at the foul line.

Bradley in the big men mix 

Tony Bradley checked in after about three minutes for his first action of the 2024 summer.

It was interesting to watch the former (non-summer) Sixer battle against young Utah big men Walker Kessler and Kyle Filipowski. He got called for one moving screen, but Bradley set several good ones that freed Sixers guards. Though the 26-year-old didn’t jump out defensively like Adem Bona, his positioning and instincts were solid.

Bradley missed his first layup and had his second rejected. He fared better in the second half, making a short push shot and throwing down a put-back slam. The 26-year-old posted four points, two rebounds and two steals in 12 minutes.

Bona had a fantastic sequence in the second quarter when he intercepted a lob, sprinted harder than everyone down the floor, and laid the ball in vs. Kessler.

The rookie’s run in Utah was full of impactful defensive plays. Bona registered nine blocks and five steals over the Sixers’ three contests.

Down game for McCain 

Jared McCain’s shots would simply not drop. He was 1 for 9 from the floor and many of those looks were decent.

Ironically, one of McCain’s tougher attempts fell — a high-arcing flip shot early in the fourth quarter — but nothing else rolled or bounced his way. It happens on occasion for every player; no reason for concern.

The 16th pick in this year’s draft will expect better results in Vegas after tallying 29 total points on 10-for-34 shooting in Salt Lake City.

McCain’s backcourt mate, Jeff Dowtin Jr., turned in another nice outing with 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting, six assists and one turnover.

David Jones had a bright first quarter and appeared to focus a tad more on dishing to open teammates. He ended the night with 10 points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals. Jones is not an incredibly swift or explosive athlete, but he does seem to have a serious knack for getting in productive areas.

For the second straight game, the Sixers were second best in the final minutes. Utah drew regular fouls, Jones missed a layup with 40 seconds left that could’ve cut the Sixers’ deficit to two points, and the Jazz pulled out a home win. On to Las Vegas.


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