76ers

Sixers 2nd-round draft picks: Australian-born Jonah Bolden taken at No. 36

Sixers 2nd-round draft picks: Australian-born Jonah Bolden taken at No. 36

The Sixers used the first pick in the 2017 NBA draft on Washington point guard Markelle Fultz (see story).

They followed that up by trading up to No. 25 for Latvian center Anzejs Pasecniks in a deal with the Orlando Magic (see story).

Still, the Sixers' work was just getting started for the night. They had four second-round picks to make at Nos. 36, 39, 46 and 50.

Here's a look at which players the franchise went with in the second round.

Second round (36th overall): Jonah Bolden, PF, 6-10/227, Australia
The Sixers added to their frontcourt with a 6-foot-10, 227-pound power forward in Jonah Bolden.

Bolden's basketball career has taken him all over the world. Born in Melbourne, Australia, he attended high school at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas and Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

Bolden played one year at UCLA (2015-16) and then turned pro. Last season he moved to Serbia to play for KK FMP Beograd, where he was named Adriatic League Youth Player of the Year. Dario Saric previously won that award.

Bolden averaged 12.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals. He shot 41.9 percent from three. Bolden has speed and can spread the floor as a big but will need to add strength to his game.

"I've always believed what I can do," Bolden said in a conference call. "I still have the utmost confidence in myself in what I can do in the league."

There is little doubt Bolden will fit in well with the Sixers. Ben Simmons immediately expressed his excitement to have Bolden on the team with this retweet. Bolden and Simmons played against one another when they were younger. Bolden's father also competed against Simmons' dad in Australia.

CSN Sixers analyst Marc Jackson, a Temple product who spent part of his career playing overseas, gushed about Bolden's performance in Serbia.

"That's a man's league," Jackson said (watch here). "Let me put this in perspective. Young players in a Euro league and EuroCup in Serbia don't play, and if the play, it's maybe 10 to 15 minutes max. This guy's playing 28 minutes and averaging 12 points on a major team in Serbia. ... He must have really impressed his coaches to play him, because they don't do that. They never do that."

Second round (39th overall): Jawun Evans, PG, 6-0/185, Oklahoma State

The Sixers are reportedly trading Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans to the Clippers, according to The Vertical.

Second round (46th overall): Sterling Brown, SG, 6-6/230, SMU
Sterling Brown's time with the Sixers also was short. The Sixers are moving Brown to the Bucks, also per The Vertical.

Second round (50th overall): Mathias Lessort, PF/C, 6-9/250, France
The Sixers landed an international big man in 6-foot-9, 250-pound Mathias Lessort. The 21-year-old can play both power forward and undersized center.

Last season, Lessort averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks for Nanterre of the France Pro-A League.

This could be a draft-and-stash situation, an option the Sixers have been open to, wherein Lessort remains overseas for next season.

Undrafted free agent: James Blackmon Jr., SG, 6-3/184, Indiana
After the draft, the Sixers agreed to a deal with undrafted free agent James Blackmon Jr., according to The Vertical

Blackmon led the Hoosiers in scoring last season with 17 points per game, while connecting on 91 three-pointers and 42.3 percent of his attempts.

Undrafted free agent: Melo Trimble, PG, 6-3/192, Maryland
The Sixers have also agreed to a deal with undrafted free-agent point guard Melo Trimble and he'll play for them in the summer league, a source confirmed to CSN Philly.

Trimble, who played three years for the Terrapins, worked out for the Sixers in early June. He contemplated going pro and leaving Maryland after his sophomore season but returned for his junior year, which he ultimately found beneficial.

"I was able to pick something up, something that I didn't have for the past two years, which was being a leader and just being able to run a team," Trimble said.

Blazers 130, Sixers 115: Without Joel Embiid, Sixers beat up on glass, scoreboard

Blazers 130, Sixers 115: Without Joel Embiid, Sixers beat up on glass, scoreboard

BOX SCORE

Joel Embiid's absence was certainly felt on Saturday.

Without the All-Star center, the Sixers were beat up on the glass and on the scoreboard in a 130-115 loss to the Blazers in a matinee at the Wells Fargo Center.

This one wasn't pretty. The sold out crowd started clearing their seats with a little over five minutes left in the third.

The loss drops the Sixers to 24-8 at home and 38-22 overall.

Here are observations from the loss.

• Defense — especially from a communication standpoint with new pieces — continues to be an issue at times, but in the first half, the Sixers were solid in this one, holding Portland to 41 percent shooting. In the second half, Blazers coach Terry Stotts exposed more mismatches and the Sixers didn't have answers, letting Portland shoot 63 percent in a 41-point third quarter.

• What hurt most in the first half was the Blazers hitting the offensive glass. Portland grabbed an incredible 14 offensive rebounds before halftime. Overall, the Blazers outrebounded the Sixers, 53-33. Boban Marjanovic seems to struggle in controlling rebounds. What also hurt was when Marjanovic got in pick-and-roll situations with Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic. On those plays, Marjanovic is scrambling defensively, which hurts him on the boards.

• In general, Nurkic gave Marjanovic a hard time. Brett Brown actually went to Amir Johnson, fresh off his stint with the Delaware Blue Coats on Friday night, early in the third quarter to try to mitigate some of the defensive issues … it did not help. Brown also tried tried to go small, going with Mike Scott at the five, also with poor results. It was odd that Brown didn't go back to Jonah Bolden, who was solid defensively in the first half.

Nurkic went for 24 points and 10 rebounds and new backup Enes Kanter went for 16 points and eight rebounds.

• Things normally go well for Ben Simmons when he’s aggressive and looking for his shot early. He did so in this one and picked up where he left off against the Heat, where he punished them in the post.

He attacked Portland’s smaller guards early and often and it seemed to help him get into the flow of the game.

He also took another mid-range jumper from the left wing that was in and out. It looked like he thought about pulling up from three, but took a couple dribbles in and pulled up. In that situation, he’s probably better off taking the three and looking to get the extra point on a low-percentage shot.

Despite the loss, Simmons was good in this one, finishing with 29 points (11 of 17), 10 assists and seven rebounds. It's a shame one of his better NBA performances was wasted in a blowout.

• During the All-Star break, Simmons referred to Tobias Harris as a “silent assassin" while on ESPN’s The Jump. It’s such a perfect way to put it. There’s nothing flashy to Harris’ game, he’s just really, really good.

As much as having an experienced backup five like Boban Marjanovic can help mitigate the absence of Embiid — obviously not on Saturday — it’s even more crucial that the Sixers have another elite scorer like Harris. He’s stepped up with the All-Star center out the last two games. It wasn't enough, but he was also big, recording 20 points (8 of 14, 3 of 7 from three) and eight rebounds.

• Jimmy Butler’s aggressiveness offensively is certainly a good sign for the Sixers. He scored the first two buckets of the game for the Sixers and looked to get to the basket frequently.

The amount of body control he has in the air is insane. On one play, T.J. McConnell attempted an alley-oop but the pass was a little too high for Butler to finish. Butler was able to gather it, come down with it, dribble from underneath the basket and get an easy basket on the other side of the rim.

Butler had 15 points (5 of 9). The Sixers' three stars were all good in this one. Everyone else ... not so much.

• JJ Redick went to the All-Star break playing some of his best basketball, shooting 48 percent from three over the 11 games prior to the break. In his first two after the break, he's really struggled. He was just 4 for 12 (3 of 10 from three) on Thursday vs. Miami. Those struggles continued Saturday as Redick scored just seven points on 1 of 10 (1 of 5 from three).

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Sixers vs. Blazers: 3 storylines to watch and how to live stream the game

Sixers vs. Blazers: 3 storylines to watch and how to live stream the game

The Sixers (38-21) match up against the Portland Trail Blazers (35-23) on Saturday afternoon. Both of these teams look very different since their last meeting in Portland back on Dec. 30, where the Blazers steamrolled the Sixers, 129-95.

Here are the essentials for the Saturday matinee:

• When: 1 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m.
• Where: Wells Fargo Center 
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

And here are three storylines to watch.

Bobi

One of the things that remains the same is the Sixers are without Joel Embiid, who is resting with left knee soreness. But this time around, the Sixers have Boban Marjanovic, who is expected to start in his place. In Thursday night’s win over Miami, Marjanovic finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Brown said his tolerance level is "wide" with Marjanovic, as they best figure out how to utilize him in the rotation. The biggest challenge is when opponents go small and are effective in pick-and-roll situations (as the Blazers are). Saturday will be another test.

Twin towers

Without Embiid in the lineup, the Sixers will have their hands full down low, as Enes Kanter made his Blazers debut on Thursday night against the Nets. Kanter finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes, backing up Jusuf Nurkic, who recorded 27 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Jonah Bolden, who finished scoreless in his 15 minutes Thursday night, will have another opportunity to show what he can do on Saturday.

Tobi vs. Blazers

It appears that Tobias Harris likes matching up against Portland. In his last two games against the Blazers while a member of the Clippers, Harris averaged 36.5 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 66.1 percent. Not too shabby.

Might he go off again on Saturday?

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