Video: Sixers’ Zhaire Smith scores first bucket with 3-pointer in NBA debut
There weren’t many bright spots in the Philadelphia 76ers’ rough Monday night loss to the Orlando Magic. The defeat shrunk the Sixers’ lead over the Indiana Pacers for the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
However, the loss did give Sixers fans their first look at a potential future piece. Rookie Zhaire Smith made his NBA debut and scored his first points, via a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
— * – Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 26, 2019
Zhaire Smith entered the game late in the fourth quarter with the Sixers down more than 20. The 19-year-old got the ball from teammate Amir Johnson at the top of the arc and drained a 3-pointer for his first NBA basket.
The rookie guard has potential, and he could be a significant piece for Philadelphia going forward. Last season, Smith was very good for Texas Tech. He shot 55.6 percent and averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists. That was enough for the Phoenix Suns to take Smith with the 16th overall pick of last year’s draft and immediately trade him to Philadelphia for 10th overall pick Mikal Bridges and a 2021 first-round pick.
Smith went on to add his first rebound and steal later in the game. However, the Sixers lost by a score of 119-98. The defeat put them only a game and a half ahead of the Indiana Pacers. Philly will look to bounce back on Thursday night against the Brooklyn Nets.