If there are two players that are using the Orlando Pro Summer League to their advantage, it has to be Casper Ware and Hollis Thompson. Both players finished last season on the 76ers roster, but are fighting for a roster spot for the 2014-15 season. In Tuesday’s 92-71 victory against the Houston Rockets, these two were impressive again.
Hollis Thompson — who has struggled shooting the ball in Orlando — scored 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting and hit 4-of-7 from deep. He finally started to show off his shooting stroke that kept him in the rotation last season — Thompson shot 40 percent from deep last season. At this point, Thompson appears as a lock to stay on the roster.
On the other hand, Casper Ware will have to keep impressing to keep his NBA dreams alive. Pierre Jackson’s fatal injury made his chances a lot larger and his continued impressive play is making it more likely he earns a roster spot. Last night, Casper Ware scored 16 points and tossed four assists, while having a game high +/- of +29. He struggled shooting — 5-of-14 from the field and 1-of-15 from deep — but he did make all five free-throw attempts and the team seems to play better when he’s on the court. Backup point guard? Who knows, but Casper Ware needs to continue improving to make sure he locks down a roster spot on the team.
The 76ers also benefited from successful performances from draft picks Jerami Grant and K.J. McDaniels. Grant broke out of his slump by posting 12 points and five boards on 4-of-9 shooting. On the other hand, McDaniels was second on the team in scoring with 15 points, which was done on 4-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-2 from deep. McDaniels also hit 5-of-6 free-throws.
Here’s some more quick notes from the 76ers victory:
- Nerlens Noel continued his impressive performance from the line, knocking down two attempts, making him 9-for-9 in Orlando at the charity stripe. Noel posted a stat line of eight points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
- St. John’s product Jakkar Sampson dropped 13 points, hitting all five shots from the field.
- 2013 second-round selection Arsalan Kazemi made his 76ers debut. He went scoreless, but was +18 in seven minutes of game action.
- No one on the Rockets had a positive +/- rating.
The 76ers next game is tonight against Brooklyn at 5 p.m.