[VIDEO] Markelle Fultz Hits First 3-Pointer in Sixers Preseason Win
Philadelphia Sixers fans got their first look at last years No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz on Friday night, but while he gave fans a glimpse of his rebuilt jump-shot, he didn't showcase the three-point shot many were looking to see.
Monday night he calmly stood in the deep corner and drained his first NBA triple.
In the team’s preseason opener against the Melbourne on Friday night, Fultz was impressive, finishing with 14 points, four assists, one rebound, two steals, one block in 23 minutes.
In his second game, he showed a little more, scoring 12 points with six rebounds, one assist, one block and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes.
"Definitely, I mean like I said I put a lot of work in the summer just to be comfortable shooting the threes, shooting my shot, and getting back to being confident in the shots I want to take," Fultz said when asked about his shooting confidence. "So coming into this game, I feel comfortable taking those shots when I had the opportunity I took my shots."
"There’s zero hesitance and there hasn’t been for a month," Sixers head coach Bret Brown added when asked about Fultz taking four, three-point shots. "He might not have made all the shots, but he sure didn’t back away from any of them. It’s a statement. I think it’s a real statement. He shot four, if he made one, that’s good. That’s a good mentality."
He has also showed his ability on defense, where Fultz has three steals and two blocks already in just 47 total minutes of play and was incredibly active on that end of the floor.
On multiple occasions, Fultz showed why he was the Sixers’ guy at the top of the 2017 NBA Draft. He had a chase-down block Friday, excellent passes and court vision, nice play off-the-ball, along with a nice pull-up elbow jumper, showing a ton of confidence.
"That’s what I work on in practice and I work on game-like shots that I think I’ll be getting like driving mid-range, corner shots, lay-ups, shots that I’m going to shoot in the game," Fultz stated. "Like I said just a long, long summer of just putting up game-like shots, so I was prepared."
His confidence and abilities hasn't gone unnoticed by his back-court mate, Ben Simmons.
"He’s making shots," Simmons explained. "I mean I don’t really see a huge difference between—I mean his mentality stayed the same, he doesn’t care what anybody thinks. That’s how it needs to be just because you need to get out there with a clear head and focus on what you do well and he’s doing that right now. He’s playing great."
The Sixers are off in China to continue the preseason, but Fultz is excited to get the season underway.
Definitely, I’m really excited," Fultz admitted. "Just to be able to come here and have the confidence and be healthy and just be able to be myself. I’m excited just to contribute to the team and try to get us further than we went last year. Then, talking to Ben and Joel, they all had sat out a whole year, so just talked about keep up confidence, working hard and believing yourself, so that definitely helped."
The Sixers open the regular season two weeks from today, when Fultz will meet the guy many people will compare him to after a draft night trade, Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics.