Williams and Mbakwe make debut for 76ers


Ex-Gophers Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe played their first game for the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday in the NBA Summer League.

The 76ers would lose to the Houston Rockets, 88-80, but Williams turned some heads with 12 points, two assists and two rebounds. In addition to his stat line, Williams, who played the second-most minutes in the game, also threw down a baseline dunk reminiscent of his Gopher days.

Both Williams and Mbakwe started the game along with former Syracuse phenom Michael Carter-Williams. Royce White, who was traded to the 76ers last week from the Rockets, did not play in Sunday’s game.

Carter-Williams stole the spotlight of the first summer league game by scoring 26 points and dishing out eight assists while grabbing seven rebounds. He also added nine turnovers.

Mbakwe finished the contest with five points and four rebounds in just 12 minutes on the court but was the least efficient player on the court, with a plus/minus of negative-26.

While Williams dazzled with his athleticism, he could not prevent himself from getting called on five fouls in almost 27 minutes of play. He finished the game 5-of-10 from the field but missed both his three-point attempts. He also had three blocks in the game.

The 76ers are trying to play Williams as a shooting guard, for which his talents are perhaps best suited despite his lack of a jump shot. But with the opportunity to develop in the summer league, Williams perhaps has a better chance over Mbakwe to play his first minutes in the NBA regular season.

The 76ers play the Indiana Pacers on Monday afternoon in the second game of the summer league.

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