LAS VEGAS — No Ben Simmons, no problem for the Sixers summer league squad.
Five players scored in double digits in the Sixers' 108-71 win over the NBA D-League Select team on Wednesday (see Instant Replay). It was their first victory of the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, and advanced them to the next round of tournament play.
Ben Simmons did not play because of a pre-scheduled rest day. Whether there continues to be more opportunities for extended playing time among the team remains to be seen. The Sixers will determine Simmons' status for Thursday against the Nets on gameday.
"It's a long summer," Las Vegas summer league head coach Lloyd Pierce said. "He's played in both summer leagues. We weren't going to play him full capacity regardless, so we'll have to reevaluate him tomorrow to see what his status is."
On Wednesday, forward Shawn Long played 17 minutes off the bench and led all players with 21 points (8 for 9 from the floor, 3 for 3 from three, 2 for 2 from the line) and five rebounds.
"[He] just filled in, next man up," Pierce said. "He scored inside and outside."
Starting guard Brandon Paul scored 20 points (8 for 14 from the floor, 4 for 6 from three) to go with six dimes in 24 minutes. Paul played for the Hornets during the summer league in Orlando and joined the team for Las Vegas competition. After getting to know the system, Paul was effective for his second team.
"He got a rhythm, he got to the basket a little bit," Pierce said. "He did in Charlotte. He's done it for his career. It was good to see him do it tonight."
Both Long and Paul emphasized the importance of staying ready throughout summer league practices and shootarounds.
"I think it came down to making the best of the opportunity when it presented itself," Long said. "Coach has been preaching throughout summer league, just be ready when your chance comes. It's something I've really been locked into."
Echoed Paul, "You can't really fall into the trap of not paying attention because your number could be called at any time. As long as you're locked in, you know what your possible matchups would be when your number gets called, I think you've got a good chance of coming in and making a contribution."
The Sixers will play the Nets at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.