“Physically I feel great, and mentally I feel great,” Sixers Markelle Fultz said after the Sixers’ win over Australia’s Melbourne United in their preseason opener. “I put in a lot of hours this summer to get up reps of going through a whole bunch of different situations. So coming in I feel perfectly fine, I’m confident. I feel great coming in, and I’m just looking forward to building each and every day.”
By Jack Ryan
Fultz was a surprise starter alongside Ben Simmons and had 14 points and four assists in 23 minutes. He made a 17-foot jump shot — his longest attempt of the game — and had a chase-down block and two steals against Melbourne.
“It was unbelievable. Just really tried to build off of last season,” said Fultz, who missed most of his rookie season with a shoulder injury. “I put in a lot of work this summer. Tried to get back out there and just be a competitor really. It felt really good.”
Fultz replaced JJ Redick in the starting lineup on Friday. Redick has started every regular-season game he has appeared in over the previous four NBA seasons.
Fultz did not start a game as a rookie. He was limited to just 14 regular-season games due to a mysterious shoulder injury that affected his shot.
Fultz said the shoulder ailment was fully healed over the summer. He also spent significant time working on his shot with trainer Drew Hanlen.
“It was a lot of work, [but] first of all, I had to get healthy. [The shoulder injury] was the main thing that stopped me from doing what I was doing in college coming in [to the NBA],” Fultz said.