St. Joe's Roberts has a blast filling in for Noel

"I just start off by saying I'm going to get every rebound," Ronald Roberts Jr. said.
"I just start off by saying I'm going to get every rebound," Ronald Roberts Jr. said. (LAURENCE KESTERSON / Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 08, 2014

ORLANDO - Ronald Roberts Jr. aims to prove he's a keeper.

An undrafted rookie free agent with the 76ers, Roberts came to the Orlando Pro Summer League with a chip on his shoulder. The power forward/center out of St. Joseph's plans to give all he can on every possession.

"For me, this is a critical moment," said Roberts, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds Sunday in an 84-73 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on the Amway Center's practice court.

"I just want to show everybody what I've got," he said, "just playing my heart out [to] make my dreams come true. Like I said, when I [went undrafted], I went to the court. . . . I just want to show these people."

Roberts dominated 7-foot center Steven Adams and just about every other Thunder player who tried to keep him from attacking the rim.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pounder made 5 of 6 shots while starting at center in place of Nerlens Noel.

The Sixers wanted Noel to take a day off to rest because he has been going hard since the start of summer-league training camp. The center missed last season while he recovered from knee surgery.

Noel and rookie swingman KJ McDaniels are scheduled to play in both the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues. Noel had game highs of 19 points and four steals in an 83-77 loss to the Magic on Saturday.

"He's scheduled to play again this week," said assistant coach Lloyd Pierce, who is coaching the Sixers in the Orlando league. "Nothing is off course with him. . . . We are going to get in the gym and do something very light tomorrow. I'm pretty sure he will be playing again either Tuesday or Wednesday, hopefully both. Whatever it is will be a team decision."

Roberts made the most of his time filling in.

"I just start off by saying I'm going to get every rebound," Roberts said. "Then after that, I just let everything else fall into place. I'm going to get the putback offensive rebound and I'm just going to get a dunk to get everything started."

Sixers point guard Casper Ware finished with a team-high 20 points.

The Sixers also sat Hollis Thompson, who has a sore left knee. Forward Melvin Ejim left the team because he did not get any playing time on Saturday.

Staying overseas

Serbian point guard Vasilije Micic, whom the Sixers drafted 52d overall last week, will not participate in either of the summer leagues. The 6-5, 203-pounder will not play for the Sixers this season.

Micic will stay overseas and play for Mega Vizura of the Serbian League for at least one more season.


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

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