Markelle Fultz, the Sixers’ top overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft, has appeared in all four games, averaging 19 minutes per game. He’s struggled mightily from the field, shooting 33 percent overall, and his new and certainly not improved free throw form has baffled those around the league, as he shoots 50 percent from the stripe.
A rookie struggling early in his career isn’t new, but the circumstances around Fultz’s struggles, in particular his shooting, are extremely weird. Fultz has blamed a shoulder injury for his new free throw form, claiming he’s just trying to get through this current period of pain until he’s back to 100 percent and can return to his old stroke.
That seems weird and like something that an organization probably shouldn’t allow him to do, right? Brett Brown has said he’s concerned about the new shooting motion, and it’s clear something is very off, considering he hasn’t attempted a shot from beyond 15 feet all season. There have been some that have postulated that Fultz is dealing with the yips, not a shoulder injury, and that is the reason the Sixers are continuing to put him on the floor despite this sudden change in mindset and physical form from their top pick.