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Philadelphia 76ers Rookie Report: Playing important roles

Not only is Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown playing his rookies, but he’s entrusting some of them in important roles coming off the bench.

Its become clear that during this past week, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown has more trust in his rookies. The solid play of two of the team’s rookies has given some stability to the Sixers weak bench unit.

16th pick, 2018

Before getting into how well some of the rookies are contributing, it’s important to give an update on the team’s lone injured rookie. Shams Charania of The Athletic recently posted the following update regarding Zhaire Smith.

Practicing with the Delaware Blue Coats is definitely an improvement. It looks like the next step of his rehab would be for contact practices, but for the time being, he’s only doing non-contact activities.

26th pick, 2018

Landry Shamet came up big this past week. He’s averaged 13.7 points in the past three games and has made 9-14 3-pointers in the same stretch. His three steals against the San Antonio Spurs were important to the team’s win. Shamet has the potential not only to be a 3-point threat but also to be active in the passing lanes. Hopefully this is a sign of his development in becoming a 3-and-D player.

Season stats: 76ers

Per Game Table
Season Age Tm Pos G GS MP FG% 3P% 2P% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2018-19 21 PHI SG 49 2 20.0 .445 .405 .537 .587 .830 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.1 0.5 2.0 8.4
Career 49 2 20.0 .445 .405 .537 .587 .830 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.1 0.5 2.0 8.4

36th pick, 2017

Jonah Bolden didn’t have the same offensive impact that Shamet did, but his defense was on point. He averaged 2.3 blocks in the past three contests, including a a four block performance (which ties a career high) against the Houston Rockets. His defensive potential and effort can be seen in an epic sequence against the Spurs.

He’s been a revelation as Joel Embiid‘s backup and on top of his ability to shot block, he’s been able to keep his foul trouble down to a minimum. As long as he’s able to provide floor spacing every so often, he’s a positive coming off the bench.

Season stats: 76ers

Per Game Table
Season Age Tm Pos G GS MP FG% 3P% 2P% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2018-19 23 PHI PF 24 2 12.7 .500 .308 .727 .583 .438 3.6 0.6 0.3 0.9 1.0 2.1 3.8
Career 24 2 12.7 .500 .308 .727 .583 .438 3.6 0.6 0.3 0.9 1.0 2.1 3.8

54th pick, 2018

Like in the previous rookie report, Shake Milton didn’t see any NBA action and that has to do more with Corey Brewer joining the roster and taking up playing time. Milton did have a pretty decent week with the Blue Coats.

In two games, he had one double-double and scored over 20 points in both contests. However, he did shows areas where growth is needed at the same time, he had seven turnovers against the Westchester Knicks and fouled out against the Memphis Hustle.

Season stats: Blue Coats

Per Game Table
Season Tm G GS MP FG% 3P% 2P% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2018-19 DEL 14 14 35.7 .487 .321 .553 .825 5.4 4.4 1.1 0.5 2.8 2.9 24.6
Career 14 14 35.7 .487 .321 .553 .825 5.4 4.4 1.1 0.5 2.8 2.9 24.6

Undrafted, 2018

Haywood Highsmith is in the same boat that Milton is stuck on in regards to NBA playing time this past week. The undrafted rookie dealt with offensive inconsistency this past week, he had a solid outing against Westchester with 13 points on 5-7 shooting from the field, but shot 2-14 and scored 11 points against the Hustle. Becoming more consistent on offense should be a goal for the rookie moving forward.

Season stats: Blue Coats

Per Game Table
Season Tm G GS MP FG% 3P% 2P% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2018-19 DEL 25 24 33.3 .445 .378 .497 .656 6.8 2.2 1.1 0.5 2.0 1.8 13.2
Career 25 24 33.3 .445 .378 .497 .656 6.8 2.2 1.1 0.5 2.0 1.8 13.2
Next: Why the Sixers need to finish top-3 in the East

Both Shamet and Bolden have earned their spots in Brown’s rotation and are performing at a level well above expectations for most rookies. The Philadelphia 76ers should surely count their blessings that they have two rookies that have become key parts of their rotation.



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