With Nerlens Noel back in the line-up last night for the 76er’s the boys from Philadelphia were able to get another win against a struggling Houston team. The Sixers beat down on the Rockets for the majority of the game winning 92-71.
Noel played again last night after getting a rest for Game 2 on Sunday. Noel played an average game at best only scoring 8 points. At times he struggled grabbing rebounds and looked a little sloppy on transition defense. He did however show signs of the great player Philadunkia nation hopes he will turn out to be. Noel had three big blocks and a play in which he striped his defender and took it back the length of the court and threw it down with a two handed flush.
However there was some concern about Noel’s health as he seemed to tweak his ankle during the game.
Coach Pierce commented on his Center after the game, “He looked fine when I saw him in the locker room, but we are always quick to take precaution.” I wouldn’t expect to see Noel in tonight’s game against Brooklyn.
The Sixers offensively started slow, losing the first quarter to the Rockets 21-19. The Sixers soon turned that around and demolished Houston in the second quarter 27-19. Quick to get the offensive side of the ball rolling in the first half was guard Casper Ware, Forward Hollis Thompson, and KJ McDaniels. Houston seemed to struggle on both sides of the ball all game long and the Sixers took full advantage of this opportunity.
Ware began to start facilitating the floor, which created good looks for McDaniels and Thompson who were literally out bodying and out hustling the Rockets. Thompson was 3-5 in the first half with 8 points. He played well tonight and finished the game with a solid 14 points. Thompson also knocked down 2-3 three-point shots tonight.
McDaniels, who has been impressive the past couple games in Orlando also had another great game tonight. McDaniels had a rare knocking down two back-to-back three pointers. McDaniels who is mostly known for his ability to score around the rim commented on his impressive shooting performance tonight, “I feel like I don’t get enough credit about my shooting. I just go out there and shoot with confidence, I feel like the more I shoot with confidence the more it falls.” McDaniels finished the game with 15 points as he did more than just shoot the ball well. He plays with a sense of composure. The former Clemson player makes above the rim plays and can also see the court well enough to make outlet passes to the perimeter and opening the floor.
Two other players that really stood out last night were Jerami Grant and JaKarr Sampson. Both players seemed to have outplayed their defender as Sampson put up 13 points tonight and Grant finished the game with 12 points. “First two games I was getting adjusted and today I felt more comfortable. This allowed me to do the things I normally do,” said Grant when asked about his game against the Rockets. Grant also had a couple big dunks and was 4-9 from the field. Sampson on the other hand had himself a perfect game as he finished 5-5 from the field and 1-1 of three point attempts. He is quietly going under the radar this summer and is really a player that is helping out his team with the minutes he is getting each day.
The Sixers shot the ball well from deep tonight shooting 52% from behind the arc. There were times when the Sixers seemed to really get the offense going knocking downs threes and getting good quality shots. That being said the 7-6 struggled from the free throw line only hitting 58% from the charity stripe. The defense is looking good and the offense is starting to pick up. The Sixers are looking to pick up their third win tomorrow and advance in Orlando’s Pro Summer League rankings.
The Sixers are scheduled to play the Brooklyn Nets tonight at 5pm and I will be covering it live for Philadunkia.
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Tyler Cook is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @