Markelle Fultz starting open night in place of JJ Redick

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Markelle Fultz
Matt Slocum/AP Photo

For a player that faced some of the biggest scrutiny we have ever seen for a rookie, Markelle Fultz has come a long way since the end of the ’17-’18 season. He had a lot of hard work to be done to recalibrate his jump shot after working through a shoulder injury he sustained during his rookie season.

Most of his improvement came from working with the shot doctor, and guru Drew Hanlen who has worked with a ton of NBA players in the past. Hanlen spent all of the of the offseason working with Markelle breaking down his form to the very beginning stages and basically reassessing his form from scratch. It was a few months of work but over time you could see the improvement that had been coming along the way for Fultz.

All of the work that he put in this summer seems to have impressed his head coach Brett Brown as he announced that Markelle will be starting at the shooting guard position when the Sixers open the season Tuesday night versus the Celtics.

When speaking about starting, Markelle knows that the result of this is a testament to his hard work and dedication to resurge to the player we all know he can be.

What to expect out of Markelle Fultz right away will be a wait and see. You know the Celtics will be really pressuring him to make mistakes in his season debut. They know that he has a good amount of pressure on him to perform in his second season. It will be interesting to see how he performs with Simmons specifically versus the Celtics because the Celtics were successfully able to clog up the lane and forcing Simmons to pass the ball to the outside and rely on his shooter, JJ Redick, who will be coming off of the bench. If Fultz has the open shot, will Simmons look to feed Covington, or dish it off to Embiid? Both obviously are great options, but it will be interesting to see how much trust Simmons has in Markelle to start the year.

In the preseason, Markelle Fultz averaged 9.0 ppg, 75% from the FT line, 43% FG %, and 20% from three. Las Vegas seems to think that he will be averaging the around those same statistics if you look at his over/under’s set for the season.

With Markelle having to fill be shoes in starting over JJ Redick who is coming off one of his best statistical seasons averaging 17 ppg, the Sixers are putting a lot of trust in a guy who they feel will be the cornerstone of the franchise for a long time. They’d be doing him a disservice to not give him a chance. His leash may just be longer than most would assume as Brett Brown has a ton of trust in the young guard.

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