Sixers' Jonah Bolden displays defensive versatility

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Jonah Bolden during his days at UCLA.

SALT LAKE CITY – Jonah Bolden can shoot the basketball. The 76ers second-round pick shot 41.9 percent on three-pointers this past season for KK FMP Boegrad in Serbia. 

So no one should be alarmed by his off shooting night in an 89-88 loss to the Boston Celtics in Monday’s Utah Jazz Summer League opener.

Even the best shooters have bad shooting nights. They are judged on those occasions by what they do when the shots aren’t falling. And Bolden brought it on the defensive end against the Celtics.

The 6-foot-10 forward finished with a game-high four blocked shots. He also graded out at a plus-seven despite shooting 4 for 10, including 1 for 4 on three-pointers.

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“One of the things I wanted to show is my defensive versatility,” Bolden said.

Mission accomplished.

He also expects to have a better shooting performance in Wednesday’s 9 p.m. matchup against the Jazz.  Bolden admitted to being a little nervous Monday. That could have contributed to his missing shots he usually makes.

“Yeah, it was the first game, getting a feel, pretty much nerves,” he said. “Game 2, I feel like it won’t be a problem.

“I was wide open in all four of my [three-point] shots.”

Bolden was the 36th pick of the June 22 NBA draft. That came 12 days after he signed a two-year contract with KK Crvena zvezda in Belgrade.  The 21-year-old Australian has a buyout that can enable him to get out of that contract. 

While it could change, the initial plan was for him to develop in Belgrade for at least one season.

Follow and contact 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter and on Instagram at PompeyOnSixers.