3:39 PM 03/27/2018
Markelle Fultz, the Philadelphia Sixers rookie point guard, played in his first game since October as the Sixers beat the Denver Nuggets 123-104.
The 2017 first overall pick played 14 minutes in his return, shooting 5-13 and finishing with 10 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds. He played as Ben Simmons primary backup and was the ball handler when he was on the court.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown made the announcement that the 19-year old was available for this game during his pregame press conference.
When he checked into the game with approximately three minutes left in the first quarter, he was greeted by a standing ovation. Throughout the game, there were multiple Fultz-related chants.
Postgame Markelle Fultz said, “There was a little bit of excitement. And a little bit of I have to help the team. I dont want to let the team down. Once I stepped out there on the floor, it felt great to be back out there with my brothers.”
Fultz first season in the NBA has been tumultuous. He was known as a good jump shooter in college, but it did not transition with him. During the preseason and through the first week of the regular season, Fultz appeared to be shooting the ball differently, and it wasnt going in. The team decided to take him out indefinitely due to a scapular imbalance in his shoulder.
If the injury itself wasnt enough to spoil his rookie season, there was lack of accountability and an elusiveness around the team and Fultz himself in regards to the injury and why it was taking so long for him to return.