Shake Milton Appears Ready to Step Up for Sixers
For the Sixers to have any thoughts about making a deep playoff run this season, we all know Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will need to elevate their games, but they are going to need improvements from others on the team.
While it was just one night, but Embiid looked sharp in 17 minutes, scoring 18 points, adding three rebounds, two assists and two steals against Boston on Wednesday. It was apparent that Embiid was in much better shape, and appeared to be much more mobile and fluid on the court.
"We ran our stuff, but we didn't run his stuff and he was still able to get 18," Sixers head coach Doc Rivers explained. "We can run our offense and not even run any plays for him and he is still going to end up with the ball because he's the best player and that's what happened."
The 26-year old big-man showed some vintage parts of his offensive game, with a mid-range game, strong moves around the basket and he even fired four 3-point shots.
Embiid admitted that his much maligned conditioning was a point of emphasis this offseason, hiring a chef, massage therapist and multiple personal aides to help work on that area.
The other Sixer who had a different look was guard Shake Milton. Milton appeared to add more muscle in the offseason and used that extra bulk to get to the basket and finish in the opener, leading the team with 19 points.
"What impressed me the most was the burst he showed to the basket," said 973espn.com Sixers insider Paul Hudrick on The Sports Bash. "He can finish with both hands, added more muscle, and can absorb more contact."
The 24-year old hit on an efficient 8-of-14 from the field, including 3-for-3 from 3-point land.
"That's what we need from Shake, we need him to be Shake every night," Doc Rivers said. "I tell him literally everyday be Shake and I thought he did that. He was very comfortable, in control, didn't force a lot of shots."
We'll see if Milton can follow that effort up on Wednesday night when the Sixers take on the Pacers in their final preseason tune up for the regular season, which opens Wednesday night against Washington.
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