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Philadelphia 76ers: Shake Milton can help more by doing less

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Article Summary:

The worst culprit? Shake Milton, who arguably turned in his worst performance of the season in the Sixers’ 116-113 loss to the Pheonix Suns.

Sure, some will point to the team’s lack of outside shooting, George Hill’s slow start, or Mike Scott’s non-existent statistical contributions as more pressing issues than a player averaging 13.4 points per game, but when the Philadelphia 76ers have needed him most, Milton’s efficiency has somehow flown out the window in favor of 12.5 turnover percentage and a sub-46 shooting percentage. Milton’s counterpart in the Philadelphia 76ers’ contest against the Pheonix Suns, Devin Booker, has been moved on and off the ball a number of times during his professional career and is currently in the middle of a really good campaign paired up with future Hall of Famer Chris Paul.

If Milton had a point guard to play off of regularly of the same caliber as Paul – see Simmons, Ben – maybe he too would be able to relax, focus up, and play his role to the best of his ability, but when Simmons is out, and the Sixers put the ball in his hands with more regularity, the third-year guard out of SMU tried to take Marc Zumoff’s “Turn garbage into gold” catchphrase a bit too literally.

Despite having played 777 minutes through the first 57 games of the 2020-21 NBA season with either Tyrese Maxey or Simmons, Milton has the second-highest usage rate of any player on the team behind only Joel Embiid.

Heck, Maxey has been playing some of the best basketball of his young career as of late; why not let him run the show with Milton serving as a spot-up shooter on the wings? Milton was the Sixers’ most efficient 3 point shooter last season and could surely become it again with a few more off-ball open looks per game.

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