The Sixers began the week at 11-7, played a four-game slate, and improved to 14-8. Let’s take a look at some quick hits:
Thoughts on the Fultz Situation:
Markelle Fultz will go down as one of the most bizarre top picks in pro sports history.
For those of you who have missed this story’s most recent plot twist, allow me to fill you in: Fultz is no longer playing or practicing with the 76ers until he can see a doctor to look at his shoulder. Fultz had not been on the injury report prior to this news, which came from Fultz’s agent, Raymond Brothers.
Fultz, who is now communicating with the 76ers through his agent, is reportedly set to meet with a specialist to look at his shoulder Monday morning.
It is unclear to both Brett Brown and Elton Brand as to why Fultz is now suddenly unable to play in games.
It is just another puzzling moment in what seems like a never-ending bizarre situation for Fultz. This wild story of the “yips” has been unraveling for over a year now, and we currently have more questions than answers.
If something is wrong with Fultz’s shoulder, why has he been playing? How can the head coach and general manager not know?
How did Fultz go from playing every night to sitting out and communicating with the team through his manager in a matter of a few days? Is this the end of Fultz’s time in Philadelphia?
I believe Markelle Fultz’s time with the 76ers is almost up. I have a hard time believing he will play again in 76er blue. Regardless of Fultz ever returning to form, it seems clear that it certainly will not happen in Philadelphia.
Fultz was drafted to a city whose passion is unmatched. He was selected No. 1 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft and was hailed as the “final piece” of the Process. Fultz was the perfect fit to complement Simmons, as he was touted as the best “combo-guard” in the draft.
The 76ers drafted Fultz to both handle the ball and shoot. With Simmons as the starting point guard, Fultz was supposed to bring his shooting prowess to what many assumed would be an explosive 76ers back-court.
Saying it now just sounds so foolish.
Fultz is clearly not the 76ers’ final piece, nor the player they drafted him to be. Whether the issue with his shot is more mental or physical, the 76ers do not have time to baby him. I think a change of scenery and a fresh start is Fultz’s best bet to find his former self.
I was not among the many 76ers fans who loved bashing Fultz for his struggles on the floor, but I was never happy the 76ers gave up a quality asset to move up and get him.
I hope Fultz gets back to who he is, even if it means doing it somewhere else.
Undefeated at Home No More:
Coming into last week’s match-up with the 2-14 Cleveland Cavaliers, the 76ers were a perfect 10-0 at home to start the 2018 season. Kendall Jenner was court-side to watch Simmons and Philly square off with the Cavs on the day after Thanksgiving.
Not only were the 76ers on a 10 win streak at home this, but they also they closed out last year’s regular season on a 10-game win streak as well.
Cavalier guard’s Collin Sexton and Rodney Hood combined for 48 in the win over Philly, and now no team in the NBA has a perfect record at home. Losing the streak to a lowly Cavs team is the most Philly thing I can think of.
Thriller in Brooklyn:
Another week, another Jimmy Butler game-winner.
JIMMY BUTLER CALLED GAME!!
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) November 26, 2018
The 76ers traveled to Brooklyn where they looked to avenge a previous 25-point defeat they suffered earlier in November. Early on, it looked like the 76ers were bound for a similar result.
After leading 2-0 to start the game, Philly would trail the entire game, until there were inside two minutes remaining in the final frame. Up to that point, the 76ers were unable to get in striking distance.
However, when they got their chance, they took it.
Jimmy Butler may not be considered one of the best clutch players in the NBA. However, he is working to change that narrative with his new team. It is Butler’s second game-winning shot this season, the other coming on the road as well, in Charlotte against the Hornets.
Butler has played only seven games with the 76ers, and I think it is fair to say he’s had an immediate impact on his team.
Butler’s 34 points against the Brooklyn Nets was a team-high, and also his most as a 76er. Butler also finished with 12 rebounds. Joel Embiid had yet another dominant night, posting 32 points and 12 boards in the road win.
A Look Ahead:
The 76ers will play three games next week, here is their slate:
Wednesday, Nov. 28: vs. New York Knicks
Friday, Nov. 30: vs. Washington Wizards
Sunday, Dec. 2: vs. Memphis Grizzlies
The 76ers will get to play three straight home games next week. It provides Philly with some much-needed rest, and a good chance to string wins together. Let’s just hope Kendall stays in Los Angeles.
Game of the Week: vs. Memphis Grizzlies (Dec. 2):
The Grizzlies hold one of the top spots Western Conference, as they boast a surprising 12-7 record. Memphis has been great early in the 2018 season. It is a refreshing feeling for the Grizzlies, as they only won 22 games last season.
Mike Conley has led the way for the Grizzlies, with over 20 points and six assists per game. Marc Gasol has also played well for Memphis, posting over 17 points and just under 10 boards per game.
The Grizzlies are currently 7-1 at home, but 5-5 on the road. Despite the Grizzlies traveling to Philadelphia next Sunday, the 76ers have had trouble burying teams when they have a chance. It should be another tightly contested game in South Philadelphia.