Even better for Philadunkia nation was that the Sixers won big without even having to bring out their star center Nerlens Noel. Don’t worry; Noel’s knee is fine after putting up 19 points Saturday in his debut game against the Orlando Magic. The Sixers staff is just sitting him as a precautionary strategy and letting the big man get some rest to finish out this week, then preparing to take off to Las Vegas for another summer league appearance.
There’s no doubt that the 7-6 showed up to play today as they blew past the Thunder. I looked up at one point to see that the Sixers had taken a 16-point lead, which ended up being their biggest lead of the night. Ware, Bader, Roberts, and McDaniels all put on a clinic offensively and most importantly looked like each one of them was confident playing their own game.
Not only did the Sixers win the game in a landslide but they dominated Oklahoma City statistically as well. As a team Philly shot 51% percent from the field compared to a struggling Thunder team that was only 37% from the field. Another impressive category has been the way the Sixers are finishing from the charity stripe. Today they knocked down 77% of their free throws when the Thunder only hit about 50%. It makes a coaches day when his team wins on the court and on the stat sheet. Assistant coach Lloyd Peirce who is coaching the summer league squad has got to be happy with the performance he got out of his players today.
Sixers guard Casper Ware commented on the win today, “I felt like we did things the right way tonight. Everything just seemed to click.” They certainly seemed to click for Ware as he finished the game with a helpful 20 points that guided Philly to the big win. Ware seemed to be a floor general. He often on defense would shout, “lets talk blue, I need help!” and it must have helped because the Sixers defense looked stout tonight, not giving OKC the shots they wanted. Ware also did his part offensively making solid outlet passes to Bader, Roberts, and McDaniels through a drive a dish style of play, which allowed them to score.
Sixers forward Ronald Roberts is one who is really showing up to these OPSL games as well. He shows a lot of energy and plays with passion that some players in the summer league just don’t tend to show all the time. Roberts was big and powerful tonight as he scored 12 points. He attacked the basket all game whether it was trying to pull down a rebound or just taking it strong to the hoop. He had a couple of big dunks this evening and played physical down low against OKC’s big man Steven Adams. Roberts has really impressed me these past two games with his energy and physicality. I see a lot of potential in the young rookie if he continues to play the way he has been down here in Florida.
Bader and McDaniels both also had themselves a game against the Thunder. Bader has consistently shot the ball well and was 4-7 from the field tonight with 13- points. He has some hustle in his game and is quick on his feet on the defensive side of the ball.
KJ McDaniels is getting his fair share of playing time down here in Orlando and is putting up solid numbers. He had 13- points and continues to cause havoc on teams when crashing the boards. He has brought what he did best at Clemson to the next level, which is crashing the glass, and creating extra point opportunities and put back slams. The Sixers had 12 second chance points in game two and a majority of that came from McDaniels running in and grabbing the boards for a put back or kick out to Ware or Bader.
Sixers forward Roberts talked about his opportunities around the rim today and the win, “I liked the looks I got today. I’m proud of my teammates for the way we all played today.” The Sixers should be proud of the way they played today. A big win is already in the books and they can get some much need rest as they are not scheduled to play again until Tuesday. Lets just hope the same Sixer team shows up for the next game.
The Sixers are scheduled to play the Houston Rockets at 7 pm and I will be there to cover it live for Philadunkia.com.
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Tyler Cook is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @