Summer Sixers Eliminated, but Dario’s Plane Lands

By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)

Brooklyn 87, Philadelphia 84 – Box Score

It’s been 2 long years since the Sixers were last Summer League Champions. That dream will have to be deferred until at least 2017 after the Summer Sixers were eliminated from bracket play by Brooklyn, falling just short in what was a tight, back-and-forth game the whole way.

Philadelphia had its chances in the final minute. Down one, the Sixers put the ball in the hands of T.J. McConnell who drove into three defenders and was blocked from behind. On the next possession, a potential game-tying three by Brandon Paul at the buzzer was off the mark.

The play from McConnell was an uncharacteristic bit of iso-ball from a player usually looking for others; McConnell shot just 6 times on the game (hitting three of those attempts for 6 points), while recording 8 assists. Meanwhile Paul led the Sixers with 18 points, put needed 20 shots to get there, making just 6. After getting hot from the outside against the D-League Select team, Paul went just 2-11 from behind the arc, although he was very active defensively with 6 steals.

The Sixers were able to hang in there most of the way thanks to the rest of the support cast. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, James Webb, and Shawn Long combined to shoot 7-11 from downtown.

Richaun Holmes anchored the back line admirably once again, going 4-4 from the floor for 12 points, and adding 8 rebounds. His line included one huge offensive rebound down the stretch where he simply looked like a man among boys in out-muscling the opposing Net for the ball; his putback briefly gave the Sixers the lead in the final minutes.

For Brooklyn, former Delaware 87er Sean Kilpatrick dropped a game-high 24 points to go along with 8 rebounds. He will have even more chances to shine this season on what’s an incredibly thin Brooklyn roster, especially after their restricted free agent bids for Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe were both matched.

The Summer Sixers will end their stint in Vegas with a consolation game against Miami Friday night at 8:30pm est. No word yet on whether Ben Simmons will participate after sitting the last two games out, but smart money says no, after Lloyd Pierce said yesterday the Sixers have “seen enough”.

Dario’s Plane Has Landed

If there was any doubt about Sixers fans’ excitement for the arrival of Dario Saric, Thursday’s events put that issue to rest. The twitter community was abuzz tracking Saric’s flight over from Croatia. A sizable contingent of media and fans was then there at PHL upon his arrival, with over 1,100 people watching a Facebook Live video of it from Crossing Broad:

Fans are this excited about Dario simply being on American soil. Imagine the response when he’s actually playing basketball…with Ben Simmons…and Joel Embiid. I can’t wait for this fall.

Manu Almost a Sixer

While, the Saric saga is something that’s been a discussion in Philadelphia basketball circles for literally years, we also received some news Thursday that came as a complete surprise:

As it turns out, the Spurs didn’t offer Ginobili $14M in what’s assumed to be his final season as some parting gift, but because the Sixers were making a serious run at prying him away from San Antonio. Per Woj’s report, the Sixers offered the future Hall-of-Famer a 2-year deal, with the 1st year guaranteed for around $16-17M. The high price tag forced the Spurs to at least meet him in the middle to retain his services.

Between Ginobili and Jamal Crawford, Bryan Colangelo has really been going hard after a veteran guard this offseason. Ginobili in Philadelphia would have been just an absolute treat. Imagine the creative passing ability in lineups featuring Manu, Sergio Rodriguez, Ben Simmons, and Dario Saric out there at the same time. Good try Bryan, but I guess ultimately Manu finishing with the Spurs is the best outcome for the game as a whole.

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