Markelle Fultz has made progress in fixing his shot, but the Sixers are uncertain if he will play again this season, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Fultz is looking better in pre-game shootarounds and his release point is almost back to where it was in college and summer league. However, conditioning is a concern for a player who hasn’t appeared in a game since October.
“He understands where the team is at, and he understands where the NBA is pretty tough in March and the race to the playoffs is real,” coach Brett Brown said. “I think whenever the decision comes out, we will act accordingly. I can tell you personally, I do look forward to coaching him.”
Fultz hasn’t been a full participant at practice since he was first injured and has done his work mainly in three-on-three scrimmages with teammates. Brown expects the decision to be made soon, and Fultz will have input on whether he plays or not.
- Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has been going along with the rebuilding plan in New York, even though it has resulted in a won-loss record that might cost him his job, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Hornacek hasn’t talked to anyone in the front office about his future with the team, but he knows that conversation will happen soon. “At the end of the season I’m sure we’ll sit down with [president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry] and figure out what we’re doing,” he said. “As a coach you’d like to know if you’re going to be here next year. But our job right now is take the guys that we have on this team and try to get them better.”
- Celtics guard Terry Rozier is hoping Marcus Smart can return in the playoffs and promises to help convince him to stay in Boston this summer, relays Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Smart is expected to miss about six weeks after surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and could return for a second-round series. He will be a restricted free agent this summer. “If I’m part of the plan in recruiting Marcus to stay here, then that’s what I’m going to have to do,” Rozier said.
- In a St. Patrick’s Day column, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston examines the ways that good luck that has touched the Celtics in recent years. Examples include the emergence of Rozier, the availability of Kyrie Irving and the Hornets’ refusal to accept a parcel of draft picks in exchange for their ninth selection in 2015 when team president Danny Ainge wanted to draft Justise Winslow.