Moements of Summer League: The Sixers Debut of Maurice Harkless

Moements of Summer League: The Sixers Debut of Maurice Harkless

Fans of the Philadelphia 76ers devout enough to tune in for the team's
Summer League kickoff against the Indiana Pacers were treated to a
fairly miserable game of basketball, one where only 57 points were
scored by the two teams combined throughout the first two quarters, but
one which picked up a little towards the end and featured a handful of
memorable plays. Most importantly, it was the pro debut of Sixers
first-round pick Maurice "We're Probably Gonna Call You 'Mo' Because it
Sounds Better" Harkless, who started and played about 23 minutes for the
Sixers despite being hamstrung by a bad hip flexor. (Arnett Moultrie,
the Sixers' other first-round selection, sat with an ankle sprain and is
not expected to play in the Summer League.)

As could probably be expected for a 19-year-old not playing at 100%,
Harkless failed to set the world on fire in his debut as a Liberty
Baller, but had some moments. He looked pretty lost on offense for most
of the first half, unable to either properly post up or secure
separation from a defender—though his shot-happy guards didn't help him
out much on that front. He was hesitant to catch-and-shoot, and his
drives to the basket, while well-intentioned, were a little bit awkward
and his shots were well off. He missed his first three shots, though he
ended the first half with an easy dunk and a sprawling layup, which at
least got him on the board before halftime.

He had some better moments in the second half. He spotted up for a
wide-open catch-and-shoot three in the third quarter and drained it
easily, and followed up a nice move to the basket he made with a tip-in
of his own miss. He finished with nine points on 4-9 shooting, with five
rebounds and an assist. Overall, he didn't flash a ton of
athleticism—probably the wonky hip playing a part with that—but he did
show off one physical advantage with his Durant-like arms. What was
remarkable about his dunk was how little he had to jump to slam it—it
seemed like he was basically at the rim already, and just needed to
tippy-toe to send it home. It seems like those arms could present a real
issue to opponents on defense, and he was unsurprisingly handsy trying
to strip the ball on a couple defensive possessions (though he got
burned a couple times gambling, so he might want to watch that).

So an INC for Mo Harkless thusfar. Nobody else really impressed
tremendously in the 69-63 loss—Jacob Pullen and Xavier Silas both took a
lot of shots and made some of them, Clay Tucker played way too many
minutes, why the hell is Solomon Jones even on this team—but Justin
Holiday had a couple fun moments, showing a nice stroke from beyond (2-5
from deep) and socirng on a crafty hand-switching drive to the basket
that reminded of his younger brother Jrue. The other J. Holiday also
grabbed seven boards and collected two steals, and will be interesting
to watch for the rest of the Summer League. You gotta root for the older
bros.

The Sixers take on the Jazz on Tuesday at 11:00 on NBA TV. Times will be had.

Draymond Green says what we all really think about Joel Embiid

Draymond Green says what we all really think about Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid has caught the eye of a Golden State Warrior.

At Golden State's shootaround Sunday night at the Sixers' practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, Warriors power forward Draymond Green said what we all think about Joel Embiid.

"He has a chance to be really f------ good," Green said.

Green and the Warriors will miss Embiid Monday when they tip off against the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center. Embiid will miss two more games to minimize the risk of aggravating his left knee injury. The Sixers are targeting Friday against the Knicks for his return (see story).

Embiid hasn't played since the Jan. 27 game against Houston and has missed 16 of their last 17 games. Still, the 22-year-old has shown, when healthy, he's a special player that Sixers can build around.

In 31 games -- with minute restrictions and missing 27 games, too -- Embiid is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists. He's shooting 46.6 from the field, and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. Despite running a tremendous Twitter campaign for the NBA All-Star Game, he missed out being an All-Star in his first year. He won the NBA's Rookie of the Month for October, November, December and January. Yeah, we all agree with Green.

But how much of Embiid has Green seen?

"I haven't had a chance to watch him," Green said. "I think he has a chance to be damn good. He's figuring it out. He's versatile. He can do a lot of things."

For more from the Warriors on the Sixers' potential, watch the video above.

Best of NHL: Sergei Bobrovsky ties career high with 32nd win as Blue Jackets top Rangers

Best of NHL: Sergei Bobrovsky ties career high with 32nd win as Blue Jackets top Rangers

NEW YORK -- Cam Atkinson and Alexander Wennberg each scored twice to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots to tie his career high with his 32nd win. Josh Anderson also scored and Oliver Bjorkstrand had two assists to help the Blue Jackets win for the fourth time in five games.

Columbus won for the second time in two days after its bye week and moved past the Rangers into third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Blue Jackets won three of five in the season series -- including both games at Madison Square Garden -- after losing seven straight meetings coming in.

Rick Nash scored a tying goal for the Rangers early in the first period. Jesper Fast scored in the final second, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 26 saves (see full recap).

Surging Blackhawks beat Blues on late Anisimov goal
CHICAGO -- Artem Anisimov scored with 5:20 left in the third period to lift the Chicago Blackhawks over the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night for their fourth straight win and ninth in their last 10.

Anisimov beat Jake Allen on the glove side from the right edge of the crease for his 22nd goal after taking a pinpoint cross-ice pass from linemate Artemi Panarin. Tanner Kero added an empty-netter with 2.6 seconds left.

Patrick Kane assisted on Anisimov's winner and scored a power-play goal. Jonathan Toews also had a goal and an assist for surging Chicago, which pulled one point behind first-place Minnesota in the Central Division and Western Conference.

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith had an assist for his 500th NHL point.

Magnus Paajarvi and Alex Pietrangelo scored for the Blues, who played their first game following their bye week and lost their third straight (see full recap).

Gaudreau's 2 goals helps Flames down Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Johnny Gaudreau had two goals and an assist to help the Calgary Flames beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Sunday.

Micheal Ferland also scored for the Flames. They have earned at least one point in six straight games, going 5-0-1 in that stretch to move into playoff position in the Western Conference.

Victor Rask scored on the power play for Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost six of seven to fall into last place in the Metropolitan Division.

Brian Elliott made 34 saves for the Flames, with his best coming with roughly 15 minutes to play when he stopped Jeff Skinner from point-blank range.

Eddie Lack finished with 21 saves. He made his second straight start for Carolina (see full recap).

Turris, Anderson lead Senators past Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kyle Turris scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period and Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots to lift the Ottawa Senators over the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Sunday night.

Zack Smith had an early short-handed goal for the Senators, who have won four of six.

Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida, and James Reimer made 31 saves. The Panthers have lost three straight after sweeping a five-game road trip, and dropped their last four home games overall.

Turris put Ottawa ahead when his wrist shot went over Reimer's glove at 9:58 of the second for his 21st goal of the season.

The Senators took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Smith. Reimer blocked a shot from Erik Karlsson, but Smith grabbed the rebound and poked in the puck at 6:28 of the first. Smith has 12 career short-handed goals (see full recap).