Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Fizdale, Smart, Porzingis, Raptors

Markelle Fultz has been relegated to bench duty for the Sixers‘ past four postseason games as T.J. McConnell has taken over the point guard position. Fultz, the first overall pick in last year’s draft, missed most of the regular season due to a shoulder ailment that impacted his ability to shoot.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Fultz’s significant time missed and the Sixers’ preference for stability is the reason for his lack of playing time. After all, Fultz missed 68 games in his rookie year and then had just 10 games regular season games to get back into a groove. Head coach Brett Brown said the team is being cautious with Fultz and will continue to do so.

“To say he’s dead and buried, that’s not true,” he said. “But I got a decision to make, and I’ve made a decision. That doesn’t mean it’s etched in stone.  It’s always something that you review and I think about. And the care for Markelle Fultz and his future is always on my mind.”

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:

  • During the draft process last year, the Celtics worked out Fultz and he said himself that Boston felt like home. Fast forward nearly a year, Fultz is riding the bench in the postseason while Jayson Tatum, the third overall pick, is thriving for the Celtics, per the Associated Press.
  • David Fizdale is joining the Knicks as the team’s next head coach and now the focus will be on the rest of his staff. Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that NCAA champion Keith Smart, who was an assistant coach in Miami and a part of Fizdale’s staff in Memphis, will likely join the Knicks as an assistant.
  • Fizdale’s ability to succeed in New York will hinge on his ability to win over Kristaps Porzingis, the team’s injured star who is rehabbing from a torn ACL, Ken Berger of Bleacher Report writes.
  • Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun looks at the Raptors‘ future after a bleak start to the team’s Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Cavaliers.
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3 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Fizdale, Smart, Porzingis, Raptors

  1. 76ers – Ben Simmons is your point guard. They play well with TJ off the bench, and he knows he’s never going to be a starter. He is very good, and just the type of point guard you want coming into a game; pesky, high IQ, makes the right decisions, insane levels of hustle, and not in a Matthew Dellavadova heart-attack, punching above his weight kinda way – TJ is just tough and smart and has no delusions of grandeur, a la Terry Rozier/Reggie Jackson.

    The problem is where to start Fultz and Simmons – at the 1 and the 4, respectively? Fultz, SG, RoCo, Ben, Embiid. That leaves Saric as the odd man out. So, it’s pick your poison time…

    Sure, Simmons and Markelle could be the 1 and 2, but that’s not enough shooting – with Covington and Dario being streaky. Joel should not be shooting more than one three a game – he should stay on the block where he eats everyone alive!

    Fultz has looked very good in small sample size – he’s smooth, fairly poised and has good size. I just don’t know if he’s shooting guard material, or if he can keep up to the timeline of Simmons and Joel. That said, they will be contending to come out of the East for the next decade if they stay together and healthy so there’s time to figure this out. They can maybe forgo the splashy SG signings of JJ/Marco, and try and develop it in-house and at low cost. I don’t think they need to be in win-now mode just yet.

    Fultz and TLC at the 2guard is a nice combo. Especially after a full healthy summer and training camp.

    They have LOTS of options. Just PLEASE don’t try and sign Lebron or PG13. They don’t need to add a big free agent. They have a chance to be a home-grown dynasty – don’t F it Up!

  2. x%sure

    Simmons is not looking like the ROY. That would be Mitchell in Utah– OR Tatum.

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