Ben Simmons sized up Doug McDermott as the two were isolated against each other near the foul line elbow, and quickly realized that he was not being guarded by someone who will be receiving any Defensive Player of the Year votes.
As McDermott fruitlessly swiped at the ball with his feet planted flat, Simmons scooted around him and went in for dunk.
Simmons was unable to record another triple-double (he leads all rookies with 12), finishing with 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to go along with four steals.
Rovert Covington helped out with point-rebound double-doubles, J.J. Redick had a team-high 18 points, and there was not a heck of a lot else to autopsy after an afternoon matinee game that was as unremarkable as McDermott’s defensive prowess.
Except for this: Philadelphia recorded 32 assists, extending their NBA-high streak of having at least 20 assists to 33 consecutive games.
“It’s not easy to win in this league, 14 games in a row,” said Marco Belinelli, who added 15 points. “We are playing good basketball right now, on defense and offense too. I think today we didn’t play a good game, but we found a way to win this game.”
Manziel participated in The Spring League on Saturday, finishing 9-of-15 for 82 yards and a touchdown. He was also sacked three times. The former Cleveland Browns quarterback played about half of the game, the first of two in the Spring League, a developmental league for NFL hopefuls.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com said he spoke to a number of scouts from the NFL and CFL about what they were seeing from Manziel, and the consensus seemed to be that he was “attentive and interactive.” Spring League head of operations Terry Shea, who has coached many NFL quarterbacks, said Manziel was asking the right questions.
“We’ll introduce him to, say, a play where a quarterback can go to the line of scrimmage and have a’check with me’ to one run or another. And then he’ll say,’Coach, I understand doing it that way, but would you ever consider it this way instead, and here’s why?'” Shea said. “He’s not challenging. He’s inquiring, and that shows me an active and engaged mind.”
Shea also believes Manziel has an NFL future.