LAS VEGAS – The Sixers played their second Las Vegas Summer League game and Nerlens Noel played his first game since last Wednesday in Orlando when the team faced the Cleveland Cavaliers at Cox Pavilion on Monday night.
Here are five observations from the Sixers’ 86-77 loss to the Cavs (see game recap):
Fear the flat top
Noel had three of his four blocked shots in the first quarter. He also picked up his second and third personal fouls in the second quarter, which limited his same aggressiveness protecting the paint.
The Cavs shot 6 for 16 in the first quarter. They were 10 for 16 in the second.
Noel was not pleased getting into foul trouble, a discussion he had twice with the officials.
Early in the third quarter, Noel swatted his fourth shot of the night by sending Anthony Bennett's floater away.
Noel finished with those four blocks, but Sixers front office members had him altering nine other attempts.
Noel has touch around rim
We will spend more time talking about Noel's defense this upcoming season, but he does hang around the rim to catch a lob or put back a missed basket.
Noel shot 6 of 10 against the Cavs and two of his six rebounds were offensive.
Wiggins will blossom quickly alongside LeBron
Andrew Wiggins is an incredible athlete who is always moving on the floor.
The start of his career in the fall took on a whole different feel last Friday when LeBron James said, "I'm coming home" in announcing his return to the Cavs. James will do for Wiggins what Michael Jordan did for Scottie Pippen. Wiggins will become the perfect wingman that develops into his own greatness.
James is further along in his career than Jordan was when Pippen joined the Bulls, but the four-time MVP and Wiggins can become their own damaging duo.
Wiggins scored 10 points and grabbed three rebounds against the Sixers.
Bennett is not a bust in Vegas
Anthony Bennett, the No.1 overall pick from 2013, had a rookie season to forget. However, he appears more confident in summer league play this year.
Bennett made 5 of 12 field goal attempts for 14 points.
For his size, Bennett should be a better rebounder. He had four rebounds and five turnovers on Monday.
Bennett still has much to prove, but to be teamed up with James, Wiggins and Kyrie Irving and having a fresh start with new coach Dave Blatt, are all positives.
McDaniels and McRae deserve our attention
Jordan McRae led the Sixers in scoring with 18 points. His fours steals were impressive, too.
K.J. McDaniels played solid defense, taking the challenge of guarding Wiggins. McDaniels did not fill out the stat sheet as he did in his Orlando games, but good things happen when he is on the floor.