Philadelphia 76ers practice patience as Markelle Fultz works towards return to floor
From NBA media reports
While the Philadelphia 76ers’ 2016 No. 1 pick is the favorite to win Kia Rookie of the Year honors, their 2017 No. 1 pick hasn’t played since October … and not because he has a standard injury.
Markelle Fultz’s shot has been broken since the summer, and until it’s fixed, he’s not going to play for the team that has finally emerged from “The Process” and is competing for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference. It’s possible that Fultz, having made progress, could return this season. But it’s a complicated situation, as Keith Pompey writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer:
There’s reason to believe that Fultz could return to action as soon as the coming weeks after already missing 64 games for what the team has called shoulder rehabilitation. However, he’s actually been sidelined because he’s learning how to shoot.
Brown acknowledged on Friday that “he’s truly getting better.”
His progress is obvious by watching him partake in the post shootaround and pregame drills with Billy Lange, the Sixers’ players development director and assistant coach. Fultz finishes off various spin moves with jumpers and dunks. He is also draining three-pointers.
The release point of Fultz’s shot to getting closer to being at the same above-the-head location it was at the University of Washington and during the Utah Jazz Summer League in July. He had been pushing the ball from in front of his body since the start of training camp in September and up until a few weeks ago.
The Sixers have said Fultz looks good in the three-on-three scrimmages with the low-minute players and during the practices he’s participated in. He’s been described as someone who can get anywhere on the floor he wants to with the ball.
“With a live ball, he’s very different than any player that we have,” Brown said. “What I see at practice sometimes, you understand completely why he was the first player chosen in the NBA draft.”