The Sixers began their week with an impressive drubbing of James Harden and the Rockets, followed by an improbable comeback win over the Spurs.
The loss to the Nuggets Saturday wasn’t pretty, but the team was without Joel Embiid (rest), Jimmy Butler (sprained wrist) and Wilson Chandler (left hamstring tightness). Plus, there were a couple positives to take away from the game.
Here’s this week’s stock watch.
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What else can you say about this guy? From his couch to guarding — and annoying — James Harden to putting up 20 points Saturday night, Brewer has more than earned his second 10-day contract.
As my teammate Noah Levick pointed out in his weekly observations, this is no fluke. The 32-year-old wing has real, tangible NBA skills and traits that can help the Sixers win basketball games. It would be surprising if Brewer didn’t finish his season in Philadelphia.
Shamet has looked like the steal of the 2018 draft. When he was selected 26th overall out of Wichita State, it was hard to envision that he’d be playing this kind of role for an Eastern Conference contender.
Among rookies that have played at least 34 games, Shamet is first in three-point percentage (40 percent), second in threes made (91), second in true shooting percentage (.607) and fourth in win shares (2.1). That’s a pretty damn impressive rookie campaign.
While he still lacks physicality and overall discipline defensively at times, there are clear signs of improvement in that regard. As the team’s backup point guard with Ben Simmons playing more at the four, Shamet also recorded a rookie career-high seven assists against the Nuggets.
Though the team may look to upgrade on the wing as the trade deadline nears, Shamet has proven to be an invaluable member of the team through 50 games.
It was mildly surprising that the two-way guard was part of the first wave of subs Saturday night. With that said, the kid took advantage of the opportunity.
He was active defensively, showing quick feet on the ball and flashing quick hands and instincts in getting a steal. His length (seven-foot wingspan) is something he uses well on the perimeter.
Hitting 3 of 5 from three was obviously notable, but even more so were his two two-point attempts. In the first half, he made a nice move to get in the paint and get a great look, but just missed a short fadeaway. In the fourth quarter, he attacked an aggressive closeout by dipping in for a mid-range jumper that he nailed.
Milton, a 2018 second-round pick out of SMU, has intriguing tools. His ability to shoot, his length and quickness defensively, and his experience as a point guard in college clearly caught the Sixers' attention.
It was pretty telling when Brett Brown elected to go with Milton ahead of Korkmaz Saturday night. It’s gotten to the point where if Korkmaz isn’t hitting shots, all he’s doing is hurting you.
He’s become a huge liability on defense. A guy like Milton is clearly a better option. For those that questioned why Elton Brand elected not to pick up his option, you’re seeing why now.
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