Sixers point guard Markelle Fultz has been shelved indefinitely by a right shoulder soreness – a few weeks late, I might add – but it sounds like the rookie may have found a solution to his injury woes.
Just shoot the ball lefty instead!
Fultz was spotted taking left-handed shots at Sixers practice on Monday, and judging from this video taken by Kyle Neubeck for Philly Voice, it looks roughly as painful as when he shoots with his right. At least, it’s not any easier to watch, anyway.
I suppose the good news here is Fultz almost certainly is not preparing to make an early comeback as a lefty. Sixers coach Brett Brown downplayed the display, which he had not even seen, according to Paul Hudrick for NBC Sports.
"I haven't even seen it but I can tell you that there's nothing to read into it," Brown said.
Take a deep breath. This does not appear to be another excuse to force Fultz on to the floor before he is healthy and ready.
More likely, Fultz’s left-hand stroke is simply the result of his horsing around. He’s a 19-year-old kid who’s stuck in a gym, but isn’t allowed to play basketball right now. Of course he’s going to work on his trick shots.
That’s not likely to stop people who think Fultz should be on permanent bedrest from freaking out. He was the No. 1 overall choice in the NBA draft, so naturally there is going to be some concern that the Sixers aren’t protecting their investment.
But as long as Fultz isn’t doing anything that can damage his injured shoulder, I don’t see what the big deal is. Who knows, developing the ability to score with his left might even pay off somewhere down the road.
Kevin Hart finally has his Lombardi Trophy.
Hart, a comedian and a native of Philadelphia, had a few too many adult beverages during Super Bowl LII and attempted to get to the stage for the presentation of the trophy. He was unsurprisingly denied.
But Hart refused to accept "no" for an answer.
The lesson here is, if you're big enough of a celebrity to get on the field after your hometown team wins the Super Bowl, you probably have enough coin to just buy your own trophy instead of trying to drunkenly crash the trophy presentation.
Most Sixers fans probably could've predicted the 2-0 result of the Sixers' back-to-back swing against the Knicks and the Nets, but the expenditure of energy it'd take to get there was hard to see coming. One night after needing a fourth-quarter comeback to escape from New York, the Sixers went even further down to the wire against Brooklyn at home, needing a huge final-minute three from Robert Covington and some savvy playing of the foul game from T.J. McConnell to squeak out the 120-116 win.
Both one of the biggest reasons the Nets were able to hang around and one of the biggest reasons the Sixers won anyway was the birthday boy himself, Joel Embiid. JoJo turned 24 yesterday, and he matched that with a 24-point performance -- though he needed 23 shots to get there, only hitting a Kobe-like six of them. But The Process was eminently trustworthy elsewhere in the box score: a career-high 19 boards, four assists (with only one turnover), and most importantly, an immaculate 11-11 from the foul line, where he'd been struggling recently (just 63% from the stripe this month previously). It was about as dominant a performance as our big guy could submit while being an absolute mess from the field.
And he was matched along the way by Ben Simmons. The Fresh Prince didn't notch his third consecutive triple-double, sadly, but he came damn close with his 21-8-12 line -- to go with three big steals and just two turnovers -- his highest-scoring night since he hung 32 on the Bulls in February. We've said it before, but having a superstar to carry your team when they're struggling is the ultimate luxury; having two feels downright immodest. (Simmons since All Stars were announced in late January, btw: 16-8-9 on 58% shooting and under three turnovers, with four triple-doubles and double-digit scoring in 25 out of 25 games.)
So the Sixers move to 38-30, two games up on Milwaukee in the seventh seed, half a game behind Washington at five, a full game behind Cleveland at four, and 1.5 behind Indiana at three. While the Sixers have struggled some against top-level teams in the past month -- going 1-5 in their last six games against playoff-bound opponents -- they've kept pace in the East by taking care of business against the sub-.500 teams, winning their last eight against losing squads, dating back to them taking an L against these Nets in Brooklyn at the end of January. Now they get a couple hard-earned days off before two more home games against lottery-bound squads in Charlotte and Memphis. Trust -- and celebrate -- The Process.