July 20, 2015 |
LAS VEGAS - One thing appears to be certain for the 76ers: Their top scoring option is Jahlil Okafor. The third pick in the NBA draft averaged 15.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in five games in the NBA and Utah Jazz summer leagues, scoring 18 or more points on three occasions. Okafor routinely drew oohs and aahs from crowds. Yet he still has plenty of room to improve. The 6-foot-11, 270-pounder failed to shoot above 50 percent in any of his games. He struggled to consistently make shots outside eight feet, and the below-the-rim post player routinely had his shot blocked.
July 19, 2015 |
LAS VEGAS - The 76ers' final summer-league game had a lot of excitement and no-goes. In the end, the Sixers defeated the Houston Rockets, 100-96, in an NBA Summer League consolation game on Friday at Cox Pavilion. That enabled the team to finish 1-4 here and 2-6 this summer. The franchise also fielded a squad with a lot of different players that went 1-2 in the Utah Jazz Summer League. "It's definitely good to go out with win," said second-year swingman JaKarr Sampson, who only played in Las Vegas.
July 17, 2015 |
LAS VEGAS - On July 5, a contingent of players left Philadelphia and headed for the Summer League in Utah. Meanwhile, back at the 76ers practice facility, another group was preparing to make the trek to Las Vegas to participate in that league. The groups have competed in seven games, with only one win. But that's not what the summer is about. It's about evaluating talent, determining strengths and weaknesses and, at least for fans and media, trying to predict who will get invited to training camp, which will start in late September, and who will be on the roster Opening Night.
July 17, 2015 |
When it comes to summer drinking, many are content with a minimal approach - a tumbler of rosé, a quick glug of tequila, a chilly can tucked into a koozie. The hows and whys of hot-weather thirst-quenching get a little more complex, however, where cocktails are concerned. Time of year isn't a priority for every professional drink-maker writing a new list, but a number of Philadelphia bartenders take the season to heart, building menus that reflect both the calendar and the thermometer.
July 16, 2015 |
LAS VEGAS - Jahlil Okafor keeps rising to the occasion. The 76ers' rookie center once again had a solid performance Tuesday in a matchup featuring two of the top four picks in the NBA draft. This time, it came in an 84-81 overtime loss to Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks at the Thomas & Mack Center. Okafor, the third overall pick on June 25, finished with 18 points and six rebounds. However, he had his shot blocked five times, had four turnovers and struggled again from the foul line.
July 13, 2015 |
LAS VEGAS - Publicly, 76ers center Jahlil Okafor had no intention of letting on that Saturday's NBA Summer League matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers meant anything more to him than any other game. But despite his being the Lakers' expected pick, Los Angeles passed over Okafor in the draft last month to take guard D'Angelo Russell second overall. The Sixers were expected to snag Russell at No. 3. Three weeks later, Okafor was rocking a Sixers white practice uniform, while Russell had on a Lakers purple practice outfit at the Thomas and Mack Center.
July 12, 2015 |
If it were anyone else taking on the winds, rain, and lightning of Thursday night for an outdoors show, the first of the summer season at Dell Music Center, it would have been a washout. This, however, was Patti LaBelle, Philadelphia's first lady of R&B, who is still going strong at 71, 52 years into her career. The opening act was supposed to be local trombonist Jeff Bradshaw's large band, featuring Najee and Kenny Lattimore, but they did not play. LaBelle came on early at 9:45 p.m. and proceeded to warm the chilly audience with a piercing, nuanced voice that raged and seduced.
July 11, 2015 |
SALT LAKE CITY - Members of the 76ers' front office were in Utah's capital city this week to watch the rookies and second-year players compete in the Utah Jazz Summer League. They will fly to Las Vegas Friday to watch a mostly different group of Sixers participate in the 10-day NBA Summer League. The highlight, general manager Sam Hinkie said, is seeing how players adapt. "I love summer league," Hinkie said. "Summer league is like the answers to the test. We've been studying these guys in the draft for years.
July 10, 2015
IT'S SUMMER-VACATION time, and that typically means a lot of credit charges. During recent online chats, I received a number of questions about credit, including this blunt message from a reader: "Why hate on credit cards?" I'll answer that question in a bit, but here's a brief rundown of some of the other questions that readers had, and my answers: Q: Should I have a cash reserve while paying off credit-card debt? A: Yes, you still need to save when you are in debt. If you don't and something comes up, you may get further in debt.
July 10, 2015 |
SALT LAKE CITY - The Sixers closed out the Utah Summer League last night with an 84-78 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz to finish out the week 1-2. Jordan McRae led the Sixers with 19 points, while Jahlil Okafor scored 11 and Jerami Grant 10. Furkan Aldemir hauled down 15 rebounds. Guard Bryce Cotton led the Jazz with 20. Assistant coach Billy Lange, who guided the Sixers in Utah, said the team accomplished what it set out to do. "I think holistically we definitely have with the introduction of the NBA and our organization's philosophy with guys like Jahlil," Lange said.