Markelle Fultz was the overall number 1 draft pick in 2017 for the Philadelphia 76ers. The rookie found himself following the same trend of being injured his rookie year like Philly’s other No.1 picks Joell Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Fultz had sat out for over 68 games this season. Many expected Philly to keep him off the floor until next season. Instead on Monday night, Fultz returned to the lineup.
Fans roared in anticipation each time he collected the ball on the ensuing possessions in the period.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 26, 2018
“There was a little bit of excitement,” Fultz said about entering the game for the first time. “And a little bit of ‘I have to help the team. I don’t want to let the team down.’ Once I stepped out there on the floor, it felt great to be back out there with my brothers.”
Philly Star Joel Embiid spoke about the return.
“He gives us another great pace,” Embiid said. “He can find ways to score and also set guys up. You could tell by his eight assists tonight in 14 minutes. That’s big time. That’s what we need him to do — score the ball, get guys involved, and create.”
Fultz ended the night with 10 points. He looked somewhat rusty but it takes time to bounce back. The real question is will he mature into the scorer that can stretch the floor for Philly. For now, just enjoy the return to the court.