Over the last three weeks, it has become obvious that Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz’s shooting form has started to regress drastically.
Following the Philadelphia 76ers‘ win over the Miami Heat, the biggest takeaway was Markelle Fultz‘s free throw form. Throughout the last several weeks, Fultz’s shooting form has drastically gotten worse game after game.
Tonight it hit a new low when Fultz double-clutched a free throw midway through the second quarter of the game. Look at the video below for the free throw that made Twitter go nuts tonight.
Fultz went up for his free throw as if he was going to shoot and then he double-clutched, looking glitch-like, resulting in a bad miss.
About a week ago, Drew Hanlen, who reinvented Markelle’s jump shot over the summer, went to Twitter to say Fultz’s shoulder was still injured. He later deleted the tweet but it was shocking that Hanlen leaked private information via social media, obviously without the Fultz’s consent.
In the last seven games, Markelle Fultz has not attempted a single three-pointer. His free throw form continues to look clunky and the apparent hitch continues to worsen. The NBA world is beginning to think “what if Fultz’s shot returns to last year’s form”?
That would be scary and something no one wants for the 20-year-old Fultz.
Earlier this evening, Alex Kennedy reported that Markelle Fultz and shooting coach Drew Hanlen are no longer working together.
This came as a surprise to everyone. The fact that Fultz and Hanlen would stop working together makes no logical sense. No one has seen Hanlen at The Center for three weeks and it sparked conversation as to his whereabouts and involvement in Fultz’s game.
Hanlen was working with Markelle multiple times per week at the Sixers training facility and at The Wells Fargo Center during pre-game shootaround. Without Hanlen’s help for the last three weeks (when Fultz’s shot began to deteriorate), it makes sense why Fultz’s shot has regressed.
Post-game, Fultz was asked about his recent shot form and he had this to say:
Markelle Fultz claimed the ball slipped. He has never shot anything like that before, so that could be a plausible reason.
I feel for Markelle and will have his back for the rest of his career. Fultz is only 20 years old and has immense pressure. Dealing with a legitimate shoulder injury and public backlash from the beginning of his career is something I could not imagine.
A positive for Fultz is that his mid-range jumper is still as smooth as it has been all season. We haven’t seen his three-point shot in seven games and his free throw looks worse, so it’s possible his standing shot is effected.
The reason for the hitch could be mental, even though there aren’t reports of that, but I do agree that he sustained a shoulder injury and it still may be affecting him, like Hanlen alluded to. I want Fultz’s mechanics to bounce back to his days at U-Dub, and I am confident that will eventually occur.
At this moment, the lingering issue is that Fultz and Drew Hanlen are no longer working together and not even on speaking terms. That needs to get resolved so Fultz can continue to improve his jumper to its original form.
I believe in Markelle Fultz and know how much work he has put into his game. Fultz will return to his original form and be the player the Sixers drafted him to be. People just need to be patient. This is not something that changes over night.
76ers fans just need to Trust The Process.