Markelle Fultz Out
Almost 18 hours ago the Philadelphia 76ers announced that their No.1 pick Markelle Fultz would be out indefinitely, due to his nagging shoulder injury.
The franchise said that the rookie’s shoulder does not have any structural damage which is a sigh of relief for Sixer fans. The former Washington guard will be re-evaluated in three weeks.
The Fultz Process
As week three starts today, keep in mind that the rookie has only suited up for four NBA games. The Sixers have had to watch Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons sit out for their first seasons. (Embiid sat out for two). The 19-year-old seemed to be in pain when playing in his four-game stint. While on the floor Markelle struggled to shoot free throws, take open shots and play with comfort.
Sixer’s general manager Bryan Colangelo stated that Fultz wanted to play through the pain. Playing your No.1 pick and ignoring the fact that he can barely execute his shooting motion is a red flag. The coaching staff and management should have shut down the six-foot-four guard earlier. Does this experiment mean that the 76ers find the Upper Marlboro native replaceable? Fultz is a talented point guard who has the ability to stretch the floor, facilitate and score off the dribble. However, some may question the Sixers for drafting the guard considering the rise of Simmons.
Ben & Embiid
When Simmons was drafted in 2016, it was clear that head coach Brett Brown wanted him to assume the role of “point-forward.” Fitting Markelle into the rotation, prior to his injury has been hard to watch. Often times it seems as if Simmons and Fultz are playing hot potato with the ball to see who should bring the ball up the court. The former Washington Huskie is a true point guard, who can score at any time. Simmons has an incredible feel for the game and reminds you of a young LeBron James.
Six days ago Simmons recorded his first triple-double against the Detroit Pistons. The former LSU forward has already made up for missing his first season. As of now, it seems like Simmons and Embiid are all that the franchise needs. No shade to Fultz, but it has been hard to visualize him fitting into the rotation. As we transition into week three you have to ask your self will this work.
I’ve seen this movie before
Now don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bad problem to have, but we said the same about forward Jahlil Okafor who is no scrub. Okafor currently finds himself out of the rotation trying to figure out how to get minutes. The team has been trying to trade him since last year. The former Duke forward was drafted in 2015 after the team realized that Embiid could be out for an extended amount of time. In 2013 the 76ers traded for the rights of Nerlens Noel who struggled to remain healthy due to knee issues.
Noel would miss the 2013-14 season due to knee surgery. In 2014 the center suited up for the Sixers and made noise in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend. The center would suffer from tendinitis in his right knee causing him to miss playing time which would result in Noel playing in the NBA development league. (Now known as the G-League) February 23rd, 2017, Philadelphia would trade the center to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and a 2017 protected first-round pick. The moral of the story is that Philadelphia has been through this before.
Hopefully, Fultz stays with the Sixers and this can be resolved. The current rotation includes Jerryd Bayless, JJ Redick, Robert Covington, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. In addition to the starting line-up head coach Brett Brown has constructed a bench that includes, Markelle Fultz, Justin Anderson, Nik Stauskas, Dario Saric and Jahlil Okafor.We didn’t forget about the gritty T.J. McConnell. Despite all the unstated drama the (2-4), 76ers are starting to see the process come alive. Although the franchise is (2-4) they have competed hard and given themselves a chance to win at the end of every game. Fultz has averaged 6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists so far this season.
“Article originally posted on Tha Sports Junkies101”.
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