Milton Making his Mark

by Lauren Rosen

With a new contract in tow, Shake Milton is making his presence known in preseason play.

Coming off the bench, the 6-foot-6 guard (who also boasts a 7-foot wingspan) has demonstrated his ability to provide solid contributions on the wing and as a backup point guard option.

“He can just sit there, and come in, and the first open look, he's making shots,” Brett Brown said Tuesday. “The game comes easy to him.”

A consistent member of the preseason rotation, Milton seems to be making made inroads since his rookie season as a two-way player.

Thus far, Milton has averaged 6.8 points in 14.0 minutes per game, shooting 55.6% from the field and 50.0% from long range.

Milton’s scoring distribution in his four preseason appearances has been efficient and effective. The former SMU Mustang has scored all of his preseason points either in the paint (44.4%), from behind the arc (44.4%), or from the foul line (11.1%).

“He surely can shoot, and I think he's improved his defense. The difference between last year and this year is defense,” Brown said.

Milton has been charged with some challenging defensive matchups in the preseason, including minutes against Derrick Rose Tuesday. He’s held his own.

“Defensive fundamentals, defensive pride, defensive knowledge:” three areas in which Brown feels Milton has improved since last season.

“It’s definitely been the focus,” Milton said Wednesday. “To be able to play on a team of this caliber, you’ve gotta be able to play defense and lock down.”

As opening night nears, Milton’s mentality is simple and clear. 

“Just trying to stay ready for any opportunity that comes my way.”


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