After a long trip back to court, Zhaire Smith makes her professional debut in defeating the Delaware Blue Coats against the Maine Red Claws

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<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "After a long trip back to court, Zhaire Smith makes professional debut in Maine Blue Claw defeat of Maine Red Claws originally appeared on nbcsportsphiladelphia.com"data-reactid =" 22 "> After a long trip to court, Zhaire Smith made her professional debut in the defeat of Delaware Blue Coats against Maine Red Claws, originally appeared on nbcsportsphiladelphia.com.

<p class = "canvas-atom-canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "For the first time since & nbsp; July 15, 2018, when the Sixers were eliminated from the Summer League in Las Vegas by a & nbsp; defeat against the Grizzlies, Zhaire Smith participated in a competitive basketball game on Friday night. "data-reactid =" 23 "> For the first time since July 15, 2018, when The Sixers were eliminated from the Las Vegas Summer League by a defeat against the Grizzlies, Zhaire Smith competed in a competitive basketball game Friday evening.

As you would expect, the rookie rusted a lot in his professional debut as the Delaware Blue Coats fell to Portland, Maine between 124 and 102 in front of the Red Claws.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Still, Smith, acquired by the Sixers in a trade of night with the Miami heatFirst unprotected choice of 2021 in exchange for Mikal Bridges, returned successfully to the field and played 15 minutes in good health. If you do not know the story of Smith well, he faced more serious problems than basketball a few months ago. "Data-reactid =" 25 "> Still, Smith was acquired by the Sixers during a nocturnal deal with the Miami Heat – a first-choice unprotected choice in 2021 in return for Mikal Bridges, he returned with success on the court and played 15 minutes in good health.If you are not familiar with Smith's story, he was facing more serious problems than basketball a few months ago.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "after suffering a Jones fracture of the left foot in En Smith had to undergo thoracoscopy following an allergic reaction in August, Smith said he had serious medical complications and lost a lot of weight after eating sesame, an allergy the Sixers discovered after conducting a full allergy panel in Smith (see the story). "data-reactid =" 26 "> After a Jones fracture to his left foot in August, Smith had to undergo thoracoscopy following an allergic reaction in September, according to a team source, Smith had serious medical complications and had lost a lot of weight after consuming sesame, an allergy that the Sixers later discovered after leading an allergy focus group at Smith (see story).

It is obviously important to put into perspective this unusual beginning of Smith's professional career when analyzing his performance on Friday.

Here are some observations from its beginnings:

• Smith was not hit during his first two ground trips. Once he did, Ryan Anderson offered him a dribble and missed the boat. His pointer about 24 feet above the touch seemed to have been good at a distance of 32 feet, patting hard on the back panel. He clearly did not want his first attempt to fail.

• Most of the time, Smith lingered. A notable exception came at the start of the second quarter, when he filled the track during a quick break and gave him the lead from Keenan Evans, a Smith's teammate. at Texas Tech. It was his only basket of the night – he finished with two points on 1 for 4 shots, three rebounds and two assists.

• Defense and athletics will be Smith's business cards early in his career in the NBA. He was strong on defense against the Red Claws, although Maine did not make much effort to attack him. He had a moment of relaxation at the end of the second quarter, which allowed Archie Goodwin to get ahead of the base and make a mistake.

• There have been a few moments when you have seen Smith make a decent initial reading and then doubt his instinct or not yet have the natural feeling of finishing the piece.

For example, in a room, he simulated the pump, passed near his man and stopped at ten meters instead of taking the ball to the rim. He was suspended in the air longer than usual, seemingly unconvincing in his decision to shoot, and launched the rider into the air.

On another game, he did a good drive from the left wing to the foul line and spotted an open D.J. Hogg in the corner. The idea was right, but Smith's performance was not the sharpest. His pass was out of reach, forcing Hogg to catch him out of bounds.

• On February 7, General Manager Elton Brand said the Sixers' action before the trade deadline did not change his hopes that Smith would play this season. Head Coach Brett Brown said that he did not think Smith would see the floor for the Sixers this year.

Smith's rusty debut does not tell us much about when he could join the Sixers, even though it's safe to say that he needs more time in Delaware. His first home game will be Monday night at 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware, where the Blue Coats will face the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at 7 pm.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Click here download the MyTeams app from NBC Sports! Get complete coverage of your teams and easily play Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games on your device."data-reactid =" 37 ">Click here to download the MyTeams app from NBC Sports! Get complete coverage of your teams and easily play Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games on your device.

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