The Shake Milton player review is HERE!
If you’ve been following me for the last few months or so (shameless Twitter plug @phillyinsider99), you’ll know that I am an absolutely massive Shake Milton fan. I wrote an article back in October talking about how he should win the “deserves more minutes award”, and then I wrote another piece in early March detailing his rise in the NBA.
Nevertheless, even with all my fanaticism aside, Shake Milton was an astonishingly awesome “feel good” story in the final few weeks leading up to the league’s suspension. He was given an opportunity to play, and he simply ran away with it.
SHAKE MILTON: 9.5PTS, 2.1REB, 2.2AST
Milton’s 2019-20 season with the 76ers actually began back over the summer. All eyes were pointed on the former G-League standout heading into the NBA’s Summer League. After all, Elton Brand had just inked the 22 year old to a four-year extension, pretty much solidifying his role on the team for years to come.
However, in what would turn out to be the start of a string of bad luck, Milton would sprain his ankle in just the first Summer League game. With his status now slightly in doubt, the Sixers opted to bring a pretty loaded point guard group with them to opening day. Milton now faced an up-hill battle of competing with both Trey Burke and Raul Neto.
After making a full recovery from his ankle injury over the summer, Milton would last just two NBA games before spraining his knee. After he returned from that, Milton would find himself firmly entrenched in the rotation behind both Neto and Burke. Even after Burke was cut from the team, the Sixers went and traded for a new backup guard in Alec Burks.
Like I said, bad luck.
However, as we all know, Milton did eventually get his shot to prove himself. With Ben Simmons injuring his back against Milwaukee in late February, Milton would see his minutes per game rise all the way up to over 30.
The young combo-guard immediately leapt at this opportunity. He scored 19 against the Bucks, 20 against the Cavs, and poured in 19 during a win over the Knicks.
All of this culminated in one of the most iconic Sixers performances of the year, where Shake dropped an absurd 39 points on the LA Clippers. Despite being guarded by both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George at times, Milton was simply unstoppable. He shot 7-9 from three and the national media firmly took notice of the young Sixer.
Since taking over as the full time starting point guard, Milton has averaged 17.9 points per game while shooting over 50% from three. He currently leads the entire Sixers team in three-point percentage (41.3%), and has proven adequate in the passing game (averaged just over four assists over the last several games).
While personally, I’d love to slap an A+ on the screen and call it a day, I’m going to do my very best to not be too biased. Milton was awesome in Simmons’ absence, there’s simply no denying that. However, the worth in Milton is going to be found in what type of role he can play once Simmons is healthy again.
Spot up shooting, good on ball defense, and solid distribution to a cutting/rolling Simmons are all “musts” for Shake going forward
Depending on when the NBA resumes, we could very likely see Milton pair up as the starting two guard next to Simmons, or he could be the permanent backup PG. Either way, if Milton can continue to produce the way he has, but in a more limited role, his 2021 season grade could easily be in the “A” range.
Check out some of the other entries in our “Season in Review” series:
Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Joel Embiid, Furkan Korkmaz
Mandatory Credit – © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports