Sport

Markelle Fultz has fluid drained from right shoulder

Markelle Fultz has fluid drained from right shoulder”

"We are committed to finding a solution to get Markelle back to 100 percent".

So far, the early impressions of top overall pick Markelle Fultz are that he is feeling his way through the National Basketball Association and his free throw shooting form is awful.

The 76ers traded the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft and a future first-round pick to the Celtics for the opportunity to move up to No. 1 and select Fultz, who was a dynamic freshman at Washington last season.

Through his first four games, Fultz is averaging just six points on 33 percent shooting, and has yet to take a three pointer. He says the shooting form is the result of his attempt to work through an injured shoulder. Sounding comfortable and confident - working against a popular theory that he has the yips - Fultz explained a shoulder injury is still hindering him. The 76ers tried to remake his free throw shooting form, at least, to alleviate some of the pressure and discomfort on his shoulders. In the past, Fultz shown an impressive ability to score using his silky smooth jumper but if he is going to take the next step in his development as a player he will need to refine his jumper at the pro level.

The only way any of this makes sense would be if Fultz's confidence were more at risk than his shoulder, and if the Sixers felt that getting him on the court and keeping him an active part of the team was more important than letting him heal all the way up from his shoulder injury.

Wait, what? Did we fast-forward to the NBA Finals?

Every player has made minor adjustments at one time or another to deal with a nagging injury, but a 19-year-old totally deconstructing a perfectly effective shot is unprecedented and absolutely uncalled for.

Against the Washington Wizards, Fultz ended the game with 10 points on 5 of 9 shooting, but the vast majority of his points came off of wide open layups set up by his speed. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons both did not play their rookie seasons because of injuries. Of the two who did play, one (Michael Carter-Williams) was shipped out shortly after winning Rookie of the Year, while the other (Jahlil Okafor) has been on the trading block for a year. Things just don't add up. But enough is enough, guys.



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