Embiid, Brown impressed with ‘damn good’ Fultz in practice
It seems that every time we get a positive update on Markelle Fultz, most optimism is sucked out by videos of his jump shot. Recently, we've seen Fultz shoot free throws more fluidly, but his jumper still has a ways to go after seeing practice videos and there's still not a timetable as to when he'll return.
Fultz has been more and more involved in practices and this week, Brett Brown had him running the second unit as the point guard. Sixers center Joel Embiid was asked on Thursday how Fultz has looked in practice and the big man sounded optimistic with regard to where Fultz is in his pathway back to the court.
"He’s been really good actually. I have been quite impressed, especially after what he’s going through," said Embiid. "He’s still readjusting to basketball and his shoulder being fine and him being able to shoot, he’s working on it. He's being doing amazing in practices. The practice we had yesterday - he was dominating."
Embiid went on to say that Fultz looked very sharp in pick-and-roll situations especially and that he's very excited to start playing with him again. Meanwhile, Brett Brown has been working with Fultz on more pressure situations, putting the first overall pick at the line in specific scenarios to make him more comfortable. The Sixers head coach, though, told reporters on Thursday that if folks were able to see Fultz in Wednesday's practice, they'd feel better about his situation.
"What I can say is that he did look good yesterday," Brown said glowingly. "If you came from inside this box and didn't know what was going on, you'd walk into the gym and say 'he's pretty damn good, he's fine. He rises up and shoots free throws and jump shots."
As it was mentioned before, Brown's focus with Markelle has been with his confidence in going to the line and in his rise up for his jump shot. At this point in time, Brown is not concerned about Fultz's three-point shot one bit.
"To me, it's going to be the rise up jump shot and the free throw. It's not going to be the three-point shot. As I said with Ben Simmons, I don't care about that right now. I care about him feeling confident going to the line and feeling good about his free throw and feeling good about his rise up. The three-point shot isn't what's really on my mind."
The Sixers travel to Boston for their final matchup against the Celtics this season on Thursday before hosting Milwaukee in Philadelphia on Saturday night.
Brandon Apter is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and managing editor at SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.