The Philadelphia 76ers are 17-19 on the season after an up-and-down first third of the year, finding themselves scrapping for a playoff position in the East entering 2018.
This is the first season that The Process has been expected to yield results, and Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have shined as proof that their many years fighting for a top lottery pick were probably worthwhile, even if Jahlil Okafor didn’t pan out. Philly has found themselves in the playoff hunt this season despite being without the services of this year’s top overall pick, Markelle Fultz, for all but four games at the beginning of the season.
Fultz has been dealing with a mysterious shoulder injury to his shooting shoulder that has been one of the most bizarre stories of this season. Fultz’s injury led him to changing his free throw form and avoiding shooting perimeter shots almost completely, and once the Sixers finally shut him down he was spotted shooting left-handed in drills. Since then, we’ve not seen much in the way of footage from the rookie guard and gotten little in the way of solid updates.
On Tuesday, we got another vague update from the team, noting that Fultz is beginning the “final stage” of his “return-to-play program,” and offering some explanation of what all that entails.