Embiid on Nets: ‘It’s another game on the schedule’

The Philadelphia 76ers(8-8) were depleted as they hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves(8-8) on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia was missing its starting backcourt of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, who were both out due to foot injuries. In addition, they were without Tobias Harris, who missed his second straight game with a hip injury.

“I just felt bad,” Joel Embiid, who had 32 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, said after the loss. “We have three of our best players; Tyrese is one that puts in so much work every single day. Injuries are just something that we can’t control it. It’s just unfortunate. I’ve had my share of them, especially freak injuries. You just can’t control them, so I just felt bad for him because he [TYRESE MAXEY] puts in so much work and takes care of himself. Obviously, missing James to the same thing and Tobias being hurt too. It does suck, but next man up.”

After having a small lead in the first quarter, Philadelphia was chasing Minnesota the rest of the way. The Timberwolves led by as many as 20 points, but the 76ers were able to cut to lead to two in the fourth, and had an opportunity to tie late, but Georges Niang missed a three with 01.2 seconds left, and they fell to Minnesota 112-109.

With the loss, Philly’s three-game winning streak was snapped.

The Timberwolves scored 97 points after three quarters, but Philadelphia went to a zone defense, which was effective and almost brought them all the way back.

“We just hung in there. We kept throwing out the score,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame. “We’re down eight, down seven, down six. That’s how you come back in games. I loved our fight. We had opportunities down the stretch. In the second half, I thought the zone really changed the game for us defensively.”

Embiid added on the defensive effort: “We didn’t play defense for three quarters. In the fourth, we went to zone; they didn’t know what to do and what to run against it. We just didn’t play defense for three quarters, and we put ourselves in a big hole. We were down 15, 20 most of the game. Unfortunately, it was too much to overcome.”

Now, they get a few days off before Ben Simmons, and the Brooklyn Nets come to Philadelphia on Tuesday night. After the loss to Minnesota, Embiid discussed the return of the number one overall pick by the 76ers in the 2016 NBA Draft.

“It’s another game on the schedule,” Embiid said. “I don’t know those guys; I have nothing against those guys. It’s Brooklyn against Philly. Hopefully, I feel better for that game. It’s the same goal—try go out and win. Obviously, we’re down a lot of guys right now, so we have to find ways. Tonight I wasn’t as dominant as I should have been. So, if I do feel better, I plan on trying to do whatever is possible to get that win. There’s a lot of history, but there’s really no history. It’s just a regular game. I know everybody is going to make a lot of drama about everything that’s happened. The people that were here and the people that were, but they’re not even playing. It’s going to be fine.”

Notes:

-Shake Milton, who started in place of Maxey, scored 27 points while hauling in six rebounds.

-In 32 minutes, Niang posted his fourth game of at least 15 points off the bench this season.

-Both the 76ers and Timberwolves had five players in double figures. Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

76ers’ Rivers: ‘He [Tyrese Maxey] was awesome’

After losing to the Raptors at home Sunday night, the 76ers(44-27) returned to their home floor Monday to battle the team with the best record in the East, the Miami Heat(47-25), but in this game, the 76ers were without their two best players in Joel Embiid(Back soreness) and James Harden(Left Hamstring; Injury Recovery).

However, they did have Tyrese Maxey, who got the job done for Philadelphia.

Maxey scored 13 of his game-high 28 points(9/15 FG, 3/7 3-PT FG, 7/7 FT) in the fourth quarter to go along with five rebounds and four assists as the 76ers defeated the Heat 113-106.

The second-year guard was a perfect 5/5 from the field, including 2/2 from deep in the fourth quarter, and he also did it on the defensive end as Maxey had a fantastic block on Caleb Martin.

“He [Tyrese Maxey] was awesome,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said. “And again, he sat when we were making the run. He was watching Shake [Milton] and Furk [Furkan Korkmaz] and Georges [Niang] and that group. When he came in, we explained to him very clearly what we were trying to do. And we got that, a lot. We got the right place on the floor. He attacked. The threes were great. More importantly, he made a defensive play to win the game. That was one hell of a block.”

The 21-year-old Maxey was also getting love from the fans as they chanted his name in the fourth, but he gave credit to Shake Milton(20 points, five rebounds, six assists), Furkan Kormaz(16 points, 4/7 3pt FG, and six rebounds), and Paul Millsap(five points and four rebounds).

“Hearing it is different. It’s different,” Maxey said about the fans’ chants. “But, I can’t take any of this credit. I’m just looking at the stats right here and guys like Shake [Milton] and Furk [Furkan Korkmaz] and Paul Millsap. Paul Millsap starts tonight. I don’t think he played in the last ten games. Furk hasn’t played much. But for those guys to stay ready and come in and play 31, 27 minutes, it’s just testimony to our group.”

Maxey also discussed his sensational block on Martin.

“We turned the ball over, first of all,” he said. “It was hard to get in. It was a hard spot. In my mind, I was thinking, ‘either he’s [Caleb Martin] gonna have to dunk on me today, or I will get this block.’ It was one or the other. And just one of those plays where you have to put your body on the line. And coach Doc [Doc Rivers] always messes with me, saying I’m six-foot and I need to stop trying to block shots. I got in there today, and he said, ‘that was a great block, but I don’t want to see you ever block another shot again.’ It was great, though.”

This might have been the best win of the season for Philadelphia when you consider they had their two best players in street clothes. Strange things happen in sports sometimes, and to Philly’s credit, they battled, guys stepped up, and again, the 76ers got the job done.

Back to Maxey, it’s clear; he’s going to be a star for sure!

Rivers on Milton: ‘He gave us a huge lift’

The Philadelphia 76ers got another big performance from Joel Embiid on Wednesday night. After scoring a then playoff career-high 39 points in Game 1, Embiid came back and set a new playoff career-high with 40 points and 13 rebounds in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference second-round matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. 

However, the 76ers needed an unlikely hero to defeat Atlanta on Wednesday night.

With Philadelphia trailing 80-79 late in the third quarter, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers inserted Shake Milton, who has struggled during the playoffs. Milton proceeded to score six points in the third, including a 35-foot buzzer-beater to end the quarter, and scored eight more points in the fourth to finish with 14 points as the 76ers defeated Atlanta 118-102 at Wells Fargo Center to even the series at 1.

In 15 minutes of action, Milton was 5/8 from the field, including four threes.

Milton appeared to be out of the rotation, and before his explosion on Wednesday night, the third-year guard averaged 2.8 points per game while shooting 21% from the field in the playoffs. Despite his struggles, Rivers was impressed by Milton’s preparation. 

“He prepared himself, and he believed that he would get another shot, and he got it,” Rivers said about Milton. “He gave us a huge lift. Very happy for him, personally.”

Tobias Harris, who scored 22 points in Game 2, was also happy for Milton.

“I’m extremely happy for him,” he said. “Happy and proud at the same time… For him, he’s been in and out of the rotation a bit in the playoffs, struggling a bit at times. But, he’s steadily in the gym, waiting for that moment, that opportunity. Here it came, and he took advantage of it”

In the first half, the Hawks’ bench outscored Philly’s bench 32-0, but the second half was a much different story for the 76ers, who had 26 bench points in the second half, which was a big reason Philadelphia was able to push the lead to as many as 21 points in the fourth.

Game 3 is Friday night in Atlanta.

In Game 1, Trae Young, guarded mainly by Danny Green, was tough to stop for Philadelphia as he scored 35 points and dished out 10 assists. However, in Game 2, the 76ers used the 6-11, Ben Simmons, to guard the 6-1 Young, and it worked. Young was just 6/16 from the field with 21 points and 11 assists. 

As they enter Game 3, it should be interesting to see what the Hawks will do to get Young going. It also should be interesting to see how both teams will respond as the scene shifts to State Farm Arena for Games 3 and 4.

Notes:

-Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari gave the Hawks a big boost in the first half on Wednesday night. Both Gallinari and Huerter scored 15 points apiece in the first half. Gallinari finished the game with 21 points, and Huerter added 20.

-Seth Curry scored 21 points for the 76ers in Game 2, including 5/8 from three-point range. 

Brand on Milton: ‘He is an exciting young talent’

Two games into the Vegas Summer League, Philadelphia 76ers G Shake Milton, has had his struggles. Milton has shot just 4-29 from the field and is averaging 12.5 ppg. However, he received some good news as the 76ers and Milton have agreed on a multi-year contract, the team announced today.

According to reports, it is a four-year deal.

Milton, 22, was originally selected by Dallas with the No. 54 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and was traded to Philadelphia on draft night.  Milton spent last season with both the 76ers and the team’s G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats on a two-way contract. In 27 games (all starts) for the Blue Coats, Milton averaged 24.9 points (fourth in the G League), 4.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 34.7 minutes per game.

Milton saw action in 20 games at the NBA level, averaging 4.4 points in 13.4 minutes per game, scoring in double figures three times, including a 13-point outing at Orlando on March 25.

“Shake is the perfect example of what hard work and strong player development can produce,” Brand said. “We are proud of the strides he made in the G League last season, where his game was able to blossom while gaining confidence as a pro. He has earned the right to be where he is today. He is an exciting young talent, and I look forward to his continued development with the 76ers and the depth that he provides our roster.”

At this point, many expect Milton to battle it out with recently signed G Raul Neto for minutes at the backup point guard position, and if Milton can duplicate some of the success he had in the G League, he could definitely be a key contributor for the 76ers next season.

 

 

76ers’ Milton on relationship with HOF coach Larry Brown: ‘That’s my guy'(VIDEO)

76ers two-way player Shake Milton is tearing up the G League.  In his last 10 games, Milton scored 23 points or more nine times with the Delaware Blue Coats after returning from a hand injury on March 8, and with G League season now over, the second-round pick out of SMU will end the regular season with the 76ers.

One of the biggest reasons for Milton’s success at SMU and in the G League is Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, who coached Milton at SMU, and was the coach of the 76ers(1997-2003), which included a trip to the NBA Finals in 2001.

Milton and Brown continue to have a solid relationship, and according to Milton, the two talk regularly.

“That’s my guy. I still call him,” Milton recently told Paul Gant. “We talk to each other probably a couple of times every week. He’s always giving me words of encouragement, anything he sees. I know if I ever have trouble, or if I’m ever bothered about anything on the court or off the court, I can always come to him, and he will be a resource for me, so that’s my guy.”

Having a resource like Brown should be valuable for Milton as he continues to navigate the NBA, and at this point, you could argue that the 76ers might be able to use what Milton brings to the table. The 6’6 guard averaged 24.9 ppg(second in G League in scoring), 4.9 apg, and 4.9 rbg in 27 games with the Delaware Blue Coats, and he has shown the ability to score in many different ways, which has been on full display in Delaware.

However, since Milton is a two-way player, he is not eligible for the playoffs, so unless the 76ers sign him to an NBA contract this season, Milton will not be available for the playoffs. However, this is not a concern for Milton.

“That’s something I really don’t even try to concern myself with,” Milton said about the possibility of suiting up for the playoffs. “I just try to do the best with whatever opportunity I’m given, so for me, that just means to keep working, keep putting work in every single day. It will eventually pay off and show itself.”

Don’t expect the 22-year-old Milton to have a huge impact with 76ers this season, but next year, if he continues to “play the right way,” Milton should have an opportunity to have a more significant role with the 76ers.

Listen below to the complete interview with Milton as he talks his development, and he tells us the biggest difference between playing in the NBA and playing in the G League.:

 

76ers’ Milton has surgery on fractured hand

Philadelphia 76ers two-way player Shake Milton underwent successful surgery this morning to address a fracture of the 4th metacarpal in his right hand that was suffered during a Delaware Blue Coats game vs. Austin on Feb. 5.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Asif M. Ilyas, a hand specialist at the Rothman Institute/Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

Milton is out and will be re-evaluated in approximately 2-3 weeks.

In 13 games with the 76ers, Milton is averaging 4.2 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists.

Medical updates on Milton, Shamet

According to the 76ers, Rookie guard Shake Milton (spondylolysis, stress fracture, in his back) has been asymptomatic for several weeks and was recently cleared to resume limited basketball activities. An update on his status will be provided in approximately four weeks.

Rookie guard Landry Shamet (sprained right ankle) is now asymptomatic and has resumed light basketball activities. He is progressing and will continue rehabilitation under the supervision of the 76ers Athlete Care staff. An update on his status will be made available when appropriate.