The Sixers have had a lot of negative things going on recently. With the whole team drastically underperforming on the road all season, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid both getting injured and being out for multiple games, the Al Horford contract looking…bad, the team needed someone to step up.
Enter Shake Milton.
Milton has been on a tear since entering the starting lineup due to the injuries of Embiid and Simmons. In the 3 game span, the 2nd year guard out of SMU has averaged 26 points, 4.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds while shooting a staggering 80% from beyond the arc (16 out of 20).
He even tied the NBA record for consecutive 3 pointers made with 13 joining Brent Barry and Terry Mills who both did it in 1996.
At the beginning of the season and most of last season, Milton struggled with decision making on the offensive end. That has not been the case in the last week. He seems to be a lot more patient and selective with his shots. His confidence is clearly at an all-time high for his NBA career.
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Milton’s emergence could have an effect on Sixers coach Brett Brown, who is on the hot seat. It is going to take a lot for Brown to keep his job, but if Milton can keep it up, it could help spark a playoff run for the Sixers. Brown had this to say about Milton’s recent tear:
“It’s getting to the stage where the sort of unique performances that catch your eye has become more and more frequent,” Brown said (via NBC Sports). “…He’s just becoming consistently reliable on a bunch of things. The statistics we’re all going to see, but defensively, watch him sit in a stance and watch him follow a game plan. He’s deceptively long and I think he’s improved tremendously defensively. … At this stage you’d have to say, if everybody’s looking for a tournament, he’s winning it.
“He’s the starting point guard. The rest of it falls into place with some other ball handlers that are more than capable and at times really good, but Shake has been a needed surprise late.”
The timing of the inclined play of Milton is very good for the Sixers. The team just announced that Josh Richardson will miss at least one game with a concussion. The Sixers have only gone 1-2 in the 3 games since Embiid went down.
It has been hard for the Sixers to find scoring outside of Milton and Harris. Guard play has been an issue for the Sixers all season and the emergency of Milton could be huge for the team down the stretch once Embiid and Simmons return to the lineup. Let’s see if Milton can keep it up when the Sixers (who are currently a 13.5 point underdog) visit LeBron James and the LA Lakers on Tuesday night.