Sixers Could Be Primed to Give More Minutes to 25-Year-Old Guard

Doc Rivers, Sixers

Getty Doc Rivers, Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers have been playing well since James Harden has been on the court with the team. The Sixers are 4-0 so far when Harden plays and have looked like a well-oiled machine offensively.

The Sixers are still figuring out their rotation as far as their bench is concerned, particularly in the backcourt. With the way, Furkan Korkmaz has struggled this season it’s opened up more of a competition between him and fourth-year guard Shake Milton in the rotation.

Uneven Season

Milton has struggled just to stay on the floor this season. Head coach Doc Rivers praised his play during training camp, but just before the preseason started he suffered an ankle injury that caused him to miss time.

After that injury, Milton also missed additional time due to COVID-19. Then in early January, he suffered a back injury that caused him to miss over a month.

All of that stop-and-go has certainly had an impact on Milton’s play so far this season. Even with that though he still has a chance to earn more playing time according to Rivers.

“As we told him, the year hasn’t started yet,” Rivers said. “The real stuff is just beginning and you have a chance to have a terrific ending and that’s what’s going to be big for him. … Just get his legs, get consistent. He hasn’t played enough to have any rhythm yet so that’s all we are wanting right now.”

That’s good news for Milton on top of the fact that he has been able to play in the Sixers last nine games. So far this season Milton has been averaging 9.3 points, 3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. He’s also struggled from the field so far shooting 42% overall and 28.7% from three.

Hoping For More

Once Milton can get his legs back under him the Sixers would love to see him return to his 2020-21 form. Last season Milton had a career year averaging 13 points per game shooting 45% from the field and 35% from three. The Sixers are also hopeful that the battle between Milton and Korkmaz will bring the best out of them and the team.

“I’ve had that more as a coach,” Rivers finished. “Where there’s been a battle down the stretch of the season for guys to get minutes and it’s healthy. It’s not bad for your team to have a competition for minutes. It can be very healthy as guys handle it right and so far, everyone’s done that.”

Healthy competition can certainly be great for a team that has championship aspirations. If the Sixers can get a good competition out of Milton and Korkmaz it would be great for the team, in particular the second unit of the team.

The Sixers will definitely need consistent production out of their bench if they are going to make a deep playoff run. If Milton can pick up his play over the final 19 games of the regular season then he could put himself in a good spot to give the team some much needed depth in the backcourt.





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