Why is Markelle Fultz Playing?


Markelle Fultz has yet to attempt a 3-pointer in the NBA. Fultz has appeared in all four games for the Philadelphia 76ers this season and is playing 19 minutes a night and hasn’t attempted a single 3. In his only season at Washington Fultz shot 5 three-pointers a game and was a 41% shooter. The good news is that Fultz has an excuse – an injured shoulder and a broken shot. For some reason, the Sixers are okay with that. Via NBC Sports Philadelphia:

"“There’s no doubt that it factors into what people question right now about his shot. There’s no doubt,” Brown said prior to the Sixers’ matchup Monday night in Detroit. “You don’t just walk a certain way for a long period of your life, and then all of the sudden, start to limp.”"

The bad new is – wait a minute why the hell is he playing at all?  You’ve seen him shoot free throws so here’s a jumper from Monday night.

And here he is shooting a three-pointer last week. Just kidding, we already discussed that.

Why is he out there!? The Sixers have shut down Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in consecutive seasons and they both look great this season. If Fultz needs a full recovery, why are they ignoring The Process? They’re 1-3. What good is this doing anyone?

In related news, Joel Embiid, who missed the entire ’15-’16 season and played just 31 games last season, was supposed to be on a minutes restriction. Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:

"“I don’t really know if there’s a solid number,” the coach said after practice, adding, “If you were to choose a number, it would be somewhere like in the teens.”"

Embiid called the minutes restriction “f–king b-llsh-t.” The next night he played 27 minutes in his season debut. He’s also logged 28 minutes twice and sat the second night of a back-to-back. There is obviously no plan here.

Now, Embiid has been good and hasn’t showed any signs of bad health, so that’s cool, but this still goes against everything the Sixers have done the past few years as they collected good young players.

Maybe Fultz will play his way to perfect health and start shooting confidently. Maybe an unleashed Joel Embiid will avoid any setbacks and play a full season. Maybe the 76ers will make the playoffs. Maybe they’ll get some valuable experience this season. Maybe the new process is there is no process.