5 things to watch in 76ers' Las Vegas Summer League games

Posted: July 11, 2014

1. When you talk Summer League, you have to start with Nerlens Noel. If Orlando was a place for him to get his feet wet and improve his conditioning, Las Vegas will be all that and more. With more teams, there will be fresher and likely better competition. This past month has been just a morsel of what the regular season is like, with practices every day, shootarounds on the mornings of games and then the games themselves. Afterwards, it's treatment for the body, dealing with the media and all the rest that accompanies being a professional athlete. In Orlando, Noel showed major signs of not being in great game shape just yet, and it prevented him from doing some of the things the team wants (rim running, in particular). It's not clear how often he'll play in Sin City, but we've been told he will play. Look for steady improvement in the conditioning department and perhaps his overall game.

2. Second-round pick Jordan McRae will get his first taste of professional action and it will be interesting to see what he brings. He stands 6-5, but has a 7-foot wingspan. He possesses terrific athleticism. He is not the knock-down outside shooter that the team sorely needs, but he has the ability to score in a variety of ways. He's another long, athletic wing, which is something this team loves.

3. When you think about Brandon Davies and how his game translates to the NBA, the reaction is sort of like the one you might have toward the World Cup once the USA got knocked out - meh. He is 6-10, but doesn't play a particularly big game. He played 51 games for the Sixers last season, but was also hindered by injury. He's one of those non-guaranteed guys the Sixers have under contract, so this league means a lot for him.

4. The Sixers plucked three players from local colleges to be on the roster in Vegas, with guards Tyreek Duren (La Salle) and Devon Saddler (Delaware) and Temple forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson. Most of the time when a team grabs the locals for Summer League, it's more of a favor than anything else. But as we know with this Sixers team, if you play well, you have a chance. This is as unsettled a roster as you'll see in the NBA, so many could have a chance.

5. K.J. McDaniels sprained an ankle Wednesday in Orlando and it is not clear if he still will be on the Vegas roster. Fellow rookie Jerami Grant is expected to join the team. If they both play, it will be interesting to watch their progression. Both have shown good signs so far in Orlando.

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