Zhaire Smith Showing Flashes During Summer League, Milton hurt
The Philadelphia Sixers’ summer league team took a hit when the team announced guard Shake Milton did not practice on Tuesday and will not play in Wednesday's Summer League game.
Milton exited Monday's Summer League game after suffering an apparent ankle injury and did not return, and though he was able to walk off under his own power, the injury will likely end his Summer League.
With Milton out, that leaves the Sixers with only one point guard on the roster, former undrafted free agent signing Deshon Taylor from Fresno State.
Milton scored five points with one rebounds and four turnovers in just 12 minutes against the Thunder on Monday before the injury occurred.
He's had his moments this summer, flashing great potential, scoring 15 points with two rebounds, seven assists, one steal and four turnovers in 26 minutes against the Bucks on Friday.
For those unfamiliar, Milton just inked a four-year deal to remain with the team and should compete with veteran Raul Neto for the backup point guard minutes behind Ben Simmons this season.
Milton has shown some good vision in the open floor and has found a great connection with Zhaire Smith, who has shown tremendous leaping ability as a finisher at the rim.
But as Milton showed on Monday, his touch from the floor has been an issue, he is just 6-for-36 during summer league play, good for just 17% from the field.
But what role do the Sixers view him having this season? Will he be looked to backup Simmons and bring the ball up or will they play him with another ball-handler, and look for him to score the ball - this remains to be seen.
Overall, Milton has averages of 9.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists in 22 minutes per summer league game.
Meanwhile, Smith has excelled, showing flashes of brilliance, both in the open floor and pulling up from three-point range.
That’s a telling change for a player who, was not looked at to provide much offense this season, especially from thee-point range. However, its looking like he is much more comfortable coming off screens with the pull-up jumper this summer.
Smith was a highly regarded defensive player when the Sixers traded for him on draft night of 2018, but has worked hard after a tough set of injuries and circumstances too better his offensive skill-set.
He is proving to be a very good defender this summer, using that skill to create open floor scoring opportunities, while adding a jumper to his arsenal.
“I was pleased with my defense,” Smith said after a recent summer league game. “I just wanted to prove i'm not forcing shots. Looking back to last year, I was just forcing stuff, trying to get my points up, instead of letting the game come to me and playing fast, I feel that i'm playing more calm.”
Smith is filling the stat sheet, he's second on the team in scoring with 14 points, adding four rebounds, three assists and 1.3 steals in 28 minutes per summer league game.