The NBA should find a way to adopt Nike’s “Basketball Never Stops” slogan because it fits well with the summer basketball schedule. Good news for fans of the league as the 2016 Samsung NBA Las Vegas Summer League officially starts today July 8th. The final 25 games will be played on July 18th, with the Championship game included. All games will be televised through NBA TV and ESPN (even the WatchESPN app for mobile devices).
For the casual fan, Summer League isn’t just a time for undrafted hopefuls trying to make a name for themselves or for bottom-feeder teams of the league to win a championship that holds no value. Most of the best teams in the league participate at Vegas, i.e., the Cavaliers and the Warriors both have rosters made up. Another reason to watch would be the opportunity to see what the future of the league has to offer. 2016 draft picks 1-10 will all be participating so expect Simmons, Ingram, Brown, Hield, and Dunn to make appearances.
For Sixers fans the action begins Saturday night at 9pm where the team will take on the Lakers. As of now both Simmons and Ingram are going to play in that game but that can change if Ingram is rested after his game later tonight against New Orleans. So far Simmons has been productive throughout Summer League play in Utah but that’s not because of his scoring.Simmons true “point-forward” skills came to life when he managed to average 5.5 assists per game over a three game stretch in Utah (only playing in two of those games). He also ranked third overall in rebounds, just behind Trey Lyles of the Jazz and Kyle Anderson of the Spurs.
Though he made it clear he was one of the best players in the Utah Summer League, one thing Simmons didn’t do was solidify himself as a scorer. Only 23.5% of his shots went in but that’s not the serious issue. Everyone likes to have a big guy out there that can share the ball with good court vision and flashy passing but they can’t be hesitant to score. Of course there was the perception before draft night that Simmons couldn’t shoot but it would be nice to see him try. Against both Utah and Boston Simmons was constantly left open in the back-court because the opposing players knew he wouldn’t shoot from out there. Getting to the rim wasn’t too much of an issue because Simmons was in return able to score most of his points from the foul-line.
Several of the players who performed well in Utah will also be playing in Vegas. Christian Wood who was the only player to get minutes in all three Utah games, averaged 18.7 ppg and proved he belongs on an NBA roster. The other first round draft pick of 2016 Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will be playing with the Vegas Sixers after an okay showing in Utah. Richuan Holmes who averaged 15 ppg and 3.5bpg is also listed as a member of the Vegas roster.
The Sixers will also be playing the Bulls and Warriors but we unfortunately won’t be seeing Dwayne Wade in a Bulls jersey and Kevin Durant in a Warriors jersey until next year.
Here’s a list of the scheduled games for the Vegas Sixers as of now.
Saturday July 9th @8:30pm vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Sunday July 10th @8:30pm vs. Chicago Bulls
Tuesday July 12th @8:30pm vs. Golden State Warriors
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