The 76ers showed great improvement on the defensive end with 10 total steals, mostly coming from the outstanding perimeter defense set up by Evan Turner, Jrue Holliday, and Jodie Meeks.
The entire team played well, not one player standing above the rest. However, Philadelpia got off to a slow start, being down 15-3 at one point, but eventually caught fire and clearly outplayed the Celtics.
Meeks and Marreese Speights both played extremely well combining for 30 points (Meeks with 18, Speights with 12). Speights also collected a team-high 11 rebounds to have his first double-double of the summer. Meeks looked tremendous on defense and on transition offense, really showing that he has stepped up and improved greatly from last year. This is his second consecutive game with 18 points, which was a game high.
Holliday played well and showed high energy, but didn’t rip up the stat sheets like he did yesterday. With a modest 10 points and five assists, he didn’t play up to the expectations after an impressive 23 point and 8-assist game. However, Holliday did run the team well and played some great on the ball defense holding Boston’s Oliver Lafayette to seven points. He did have the play of the game however, throwing a perfect ally-oop pass to Speights, who made an outstanding one-handed catch and jam. It would be nice to see Holliday improve his play in the last few games of the Summer League.
Turner improved his game today, scoring 13 points and creating four assists. He looked best in transition scoring six of his 13 on the fast break. Turner showed high energy, and really made a difference on this much improved perimeter defense.
Off the bench, there were some names that impressed me, especially point guard Mike Green of Butler, and big man Cedric Simmons.
Green showed great pace and speed off the bench, combining his natural point guard abilities with his shooting range to score nine points, and grab three steals. He played impressive defense, especially for a smaller guy (6'1").
Simmons played tremendous, bringing something off the bench that might land him a spot on this team. He scored 10 points and grabbed seven boards in just 16 minutes of play. Talk about your high-energy guy. A local kid, Jason Love, who played his high school ball at Abington Friends, scored eight off the bench as well.
Overall, the game was frustrating to start with, but ended up great in the end for the 76ers. Philadelphia shot well today, shooting 46 percent from the field and 78 percent from the chairty stripe.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the week for the 76ers, to see what young guys can make the team, and how the expected stars do.