Sixers observations: Trevelin Queen, Michael Foster Jr. help Sixers beat Heat in summer league

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

3 observations after Sixers hold on for their first win in Las Vegas originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Sixers on Wednesday night scraped past the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last season, notching their first win of the Las Vegas summer league.

Of course, neither the Sixers nor the Heat resembled the teams that matched up in the second round.

Trevelin Queen was the Sixers' top scorer, recording 16 points, five rebounds and four assists in a 75-71 victory over Miami. Malik Ellison had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Now 1-2 in Las Vegas, the Sixers will play the Nuggets on Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Here are observations on their win over the Heat:

Queen keeps firing

Neither team was at its summer league version of full strength. Isaiah Joe and Jaden Springer sat for the Sixers, while Miami did not play Nikola Jović, Omer Yurtseven and Mychal Mulder.

Queen must have been pleased to see his jumper immediately bounce back. Coming off of a 3-for-13 outing in the Sixers’ loss to the Nets, Queen nailed a catch-and-shoot three-pointer on his first attempt.

He also drained his next shot, tightly working around a screen and quickly letting it fly from the top of the key. Queen looks to have minimal arc on his shot in part because he values getting it up fast and isn’t inclined to set his base or generally care much about being perfectly aligned toward the target.

Still, the ability to fire long-distance jumpers at a high rate is valuable in the NBA these days, provided you meet a certain efficiency standard. Queen dropped off a bit in that regard as the game wore on, finishing 5 for 14 from the field and 3 of 8 from three-point range.

Queen on Wednesday committed six turnovers but added two impressive passes to his summer league highlight tape. In the first quarter, he assisted Filip Petrušev with a righty bounce pass out of the pick-and-roll. In the second, he made a wraparound lefty dish to Tyler Bey for a layup.

Not a night for pretty offense

The Heat missed their first seven field goals.

It was an old-fashioned slow start that included a couple of open misfires, although the Sixers did collectively begin the game with good defensive effort. Starting point guard Cassius Winston played strong defense on Jamaree Bouyea, and Charles Bassey then swatted away the rookie’s floater attempt late in the shot clock.

Both offenses struggled all evening to find sustained rhythm. That's not unusual for summer league, although some of the shooting numbers Wednesday were exceptionally poor. Charlie Brown Jr. went 0 for 9 from the floor. Bouyeau and Marcus Garrett combined to go 1 for 19 and Miami was a ghastly 27.4 percent overall.

The Sixers were better at 41.5 percent, but their turnover problems persisted. They gave the ball away 22 times and sport a 21.7 average through three 40-minute games in Las Vegas.

Fueled by the Sixers' sloppiness, the Heat made a late push. Miami blitzed Queen, forced a turnover, and got two free throws by former Sixer Haywood Highsmith (17 points, seven rebounds) to cut the Sixers' lead to 72-68 with 62 seconds remaining. The Sixers restored enough order to hold on.

Can't-miss Foster Jr. moments

It often takes young players time to figure out how to sub in off the bench and be fully prepared for action. Michael Foster Jr. had no such issue Wednesday night.

Foster, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Sixers on Sunday, had nine points and five rebounds in his 16 minutes. Those stats don't do justice to his performance, which began with a fierce dunk.

The 19-year-old ran the floor well and seems to be benefiting from his weight loss since the end of his season with G League Ignite. He earned a catch early in the shot clock against Highsmith, reposted, and sunk a turnaround jumper.

Foster switched on to Miami guard Dru Smith in the third quarter, maintained his defensive stance, and rose at the right time to block the Heat guard's three-point try. He picked up another dunk in the fourth, slamming in a Winston miss, but that defensive sequence might have been the best play of Foster's night. If he can eventually become a capable, low-mistake defender who doesn't mind sliding with smaller players, Foster's path to NBA success would undoubtedly be smoother.