Sixers

3 observations after Sixers lose in summer league despite Reed's huge game

Sixers

Paul Reed's stat line Sunday was not deceiving.

He put up 27 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and four steals, and those numbers accurately reflect his do-everything night.

Despite Reed's massive game, the Sixers could not prevail against the Timberwolves, falling to a 99-96 overtime loss and dropping to 2-2 in summer league.

Jaden Springer's three-pointer with 15.2 seconds remaining put the Sixers on top. 

However, Jaden McDaniels banked in a three with 3.2 seconds left, helping Minnesota force overtime. The Timberwolves maintained that momentum and Frank Mason III missed a potential game-tying long-range jumper at the overtime buzzer.

The Sixers’ final game in Las Vegas will be Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET against the Jazz.

Here are three observations on their loss Sunday: 

Reed is everywhere 

Reed started at center for the first time in summer league and had a very strong first few minutes, scoring on an and-1 leaner, an open three-pointer from the right wing and a reverse dunk.

Whether he’s stealing a pass on the wing, sprinting for weak-side blocks or handling the ball on fast breaks, Reed constantly seems to be in the middle of everything. 

One of the keys for him this season will be keeping that element of his game while erasing some of the mistakes that might frustrate Sixers head coach Doc Rivers. For example, Reed fouled a three-point shooter and lost possession in the backcourt during a wild second-quarter stretch. There’s a fine line between effective disruptiveness and erratic play. 

 

All of that will be more relevant once training camp arrives. The bottom line is Reed was excellent Sunday, recording a double-double (with three steals, three blocks and three assists) by halftime. His effort is always immense and against this level of competition his impact usually is, too. 

Tyrese Maxey, who left Las Vegas before Saturday’s game to host a youth basketball camp in his hometown of Garland, Texas, enjoyed Reed’s performance. 

“I’m comfortable playing any position, really," Reed said after the game on Zoom. “But I’m not going to lie, I like playing the five because I get to bang. But at the same time, I like playing the four because I know those perimeter dudes can’t really guard me like that. I (haven't really been) getting in my bag, though, because I’ve been trying to play in the offense. So I’ve been trying to keep it simple.”

Joe leaves with injury 

Isaiah Joe went down with an injury on a fourth-quarter drive. He was able to gingerly walk back to the bench during a timeout. 

Shortly after the game, the Sixers said Joe sustained a left knee injury. This story will be updated when further information on his status becomes available.

Though he had an off shooting game Sunday, Joe impressed during the Sixers' first three summer league games. Needless to say, it would be ideal if he avoided any sort of serious injury and can keep building on a good offseason. 

A couple of quick notes on the Sixers' other guards:

Springer went 4 for 12 from the floor against Minnesota, recording 11 points and six assists. He continued to flash positive non-scoring skills, though, including sound on-ball defense and the strength to finish through contact. The clutch jumper was encouraging to see as well. 

“He’s got a lot of talent that is there and a lot of talent that can be tapped," Sixers assistant and summer league head coach Brian Adams said. “He can put it on the floor, can shoot it a little from three — and that consistency will keep coming — but most importantly, he’s a very good on-ball and off-ball defender, so it’s great to see.”

Daishen Nix again showed off his passing feel and also added seven points on 3-for-3 shooting. The 19-year-old's talent has shone a bit more over the past two games without Maxey.

Another look at Sixers’ two-ways 

Aaron Henry slid into the Sixers’ starting lineup, replacing Filip Petrušev, and posted nine points and two rebounds. His comfort level and confidence appeared to steadily increase in the second half as he saw a few jumpers drop. 

Fellow two-way player Rayjon Tucker scored 16 points. As usual, much of his offense was explosive and rim-rocking. He’s a real threat whenever an opponent gives him a chance to charge toward the hoop or leap for a lob.

 

The Sixers would surely like to see both Tucker and Henry become more consistent jump shooters. Tucker is not bashful about firing away but tosses up quite a few shots that are not especially close. 

Henry, a 33.3 percent three-point shooter at Michigan State, made 1 of 3 long-distance attempts Sunday. If Henry lives up to his college reputation, the lefty wing will be a stellar defender this year in the G League.