Markelle Fultz on Philly’s support: “It makes me want to play harder for them”

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When you take a look at a stat sheet of the past two Sixers games, most of your attention will be drawn to the number of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but putting up stellar numbers in their first two performances, with Simmons having a triple-double in just his second game of the season.

One player who hasn’t filled up much of the stat sheet is Markelle Fultz, but he has seemed to fill up the minds of Philadelphia fans and the national media. Markelle Fultz had himself a whirlwind of a season last season, going from rehabbing a shoulder injury, to having the yips in his shot, to playing through those yips, to ultimately having to shoot over 100,000 shots to correct his jump shot over the offseason.

When he was named starting point guard before the season opener, people were wary of what the result would be for the Sixers, but also for Markelle’s confidence. The results didn’t pan out in the season opener, but Markelle seemed much more confident and more willing to shoot the jump shot as compared to the first game.

Markelle finished 5-15 from the floor and 1-3 from the three-point line. You can tell, even though the shots weren’t going in for the young man, he’s ready to get shots up and work through his struggles to create success. That’s all the Sixers fans can ask from him at this point is hustle and a willingness to shoot. Shooters have to shoot to stay hot or get out of a cold spell.

When speaking about the Philly fans encouraging him to shoot more, he was thankful for the fans being so supportive of him.

It was great to see the support of the Philadelphia fans behind Markelle. Some will say it seemed to almost be ridicule for Markelle with the cheers, but in reality, it was pure fanship and them wanting the young guard to succeed. The Sixers are going to need him to start succeeding and to keep shooting his shot because with Ben Simmons virtually being non-existent with his shooting, it will create a weird dynamic with two guards who can’t shoot the ball. In the first game, neither Simmons or Fultz took a three, which only happened one-time last year in the NBA. In today’s league that is a tough way to try and win basketball games.

If Markelle is able to space the floor, it creates such an easier dynamic for Ben Simmons and for Joel Embiid to work their games, if not, he is only clogging up space for the others around him. That’s what made this team so great last year was players like Marco Belinelli, no longer in Philadelphia, and J.J. Redick who spaced the floor by their shooting and being able to move without the ball. Fultz showed the Philadelphia crowd more and more of that as the game went on.

He just has to keep that consistency so it can only go up from here.

 

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