The Sixers produced their most convincing Summer League victory in the matchup against the Denver Nuggets. While the Nuggets’ sloppy play certainly played a role, the Sixers held the victory from start to finish. After sitting out the previous matchup, Isaiah Joe returned to the lineup and took control for the Sixers. The team sat out Paul Reed, Jaden Springer, Filip Petrusev, Myles Powell, and Cassius Winston in the matchup.
It was a dominant overall performance for the Sixers. They outrebounded the Nuggets 51-29 and shot an impressive 14-33 (42.4%) on three-point attempts compared to the Nuggets 9-33 (27.3%). The team got off to a 22-9 lead in the first quarter and did not look back. The Sixers ultimately cruised to a 97-71 victory.
Isaiah Joe Has Earned His Minutes
One of the biggest storylines in Summer League has been the play of Isaiah Joe. While he has impressed throughout, the Arkansas product had an especially solid game on Friday. Joe ended with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists. He also shot 5-11 from the field and 4-9 on three-point attempts. The shooting guard was also a team-high +23 in the matchup.
While his money will always be made as a three-point shooter, Isaiah Joe has flashed that there is more to his game. The 23-year-old looked solid as a ball-handler and flashed as a playmaker. He also showed no hesitancy to pull from well beyond the three-point arc and showed off some dribble moves that he had not previously showcased.
*I know it’s just Summer League, BUT*
There really aren’t many reasons to not play Isaiah Joe if he can dribble like this, hit threes at an average rate, and compete on defense. He’s undoubtedly the best SG on the roster behind Harden & Maxey.
— Harrison Grimm (@Harrison_Grimm) July 16, 2022
While it is unclear if he will get a rotational opportunity this season, there is not much more Isaiah Joe can do to showcase his skills. In total, he has shot 20 for 38 (52.6%) on three-point attempts in summer league.
Michael Foster Jr. Can Play
Another interesting player who has made a name for himself in summer league is Michael Foster Jr. The G-League Ignite standout has shown some really solid instincts and has an NBA-ready frame. He has a high basketball IQ and impressive athleticism. The 19-year-old recently agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with the Sixers, which is a great sign he has a pathway to the NBA through the Sixers organization.
Have really liked what I’ve seen from Michael Foster Jr this summer league
Will be interesting to see what his positional fit is but an exciting prospect to have in the Sixers system pic.twitter.com/rIfaH9R77j
— Sean Barnard (@Sean_Barnard1) July 15, 2022
In the Nuggets matchup, Foster ended with 9 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block in just 18 minutes of play. He also was a perfect 3-3 from the floor. In the long-term, it will be exciting to see what Foster Jr/ can turn out to be. He will benefit from a year with the Blue Coats to continue putting the pieces together, but Michael Foster Jr. has stood out as a name to watch moving forward.
Grant Riller Makes a Statement
One of the frustrating storylines so far in summer league has been the lack of minutes and assertiveness from Grant Riller. Prior to this matchup, he had averaged just 1.7 points per game with the summer Sixers. This changed in this matchup as Riller came out in attack mode.
He led the Sixers in scoring with 18 points in the game. The Charleston product also added three rebounds and shot 2-4 on three-point attempts. Riller did most of his damage within the three-point arc. He flashed an array of impressive finishes, including a beautiful scoop layup to end the third quarter. His NBA path may not be as promising as it once was, but Riller made the Sixers think twice about this in the matchup with the Nuggets.
Grant Riller sinks the perfectly timed drive pic.twitter.com/hAw8z3ALvL
— Sixers Nation (@SixersNationCP) July 15, 2022
There were plenty of positive takeaways beyond just these three players as well. Trevelin Queen looked much more comfortable in this matchup and added 17 points. He also tallied 5 rebounds, 5 assists and shot 3-5 on three-point attempts. Charlie Brown Jr also impressed defensively and knocked down a pair of threes.
Another intriguing prospect who flashed his potential was Aminu Mohammed. The Georgetown product ended the game with 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists in his 17 minutes of play. He also was a perfect 4-4 from the field, including knocking down a three-pointer. While he still has a long way to go in his developmental process, Mohommed has a skillset worth keeping an eye on. The Sixers should certainly do their best to keep him in the organization.
Up Next for the Sixers
The Sixers summer league is not quite over yet. The team will get set to face off with the Chicago Bulls roster Saturday at 7 PM EST.