While timing is never really good for an injury, Shake Milton's seems especially ill-timed.
It was discovered that Milton suffered a bone bruise and a mild left knee sprain after he underwent testing Tuesday, according to a team source. While Milton is expected to miss time, the news is encouraging, and he'll be re-evaluated following the team's upcoming West Coast trip.
The second-year guard slipped and went down late in the third quarter Monday on a drive against the Hawks' Jabari Parker and grabbed at his left knee. He left the court under his own power.
The shame of it is that Milton had been playing well and appeared to be carving out a role in Brett Brown's rotation.
The 23-year-old put up nine points in 12 minutes Monday after putting up 10 points in 12 minutes during a win in Detroit Saturday. On a team that desperately needs shooting, Milton has provided that. The 2018 second-round pick out of SMU has hit 4 of 9 from three on the young season.
Brown would frequently mention Milton when talking about the backup point guard battle and rotational discussions in general. He lauded Milton's offensive game, but also his improvement on the other end.
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"Defensive fundamentals, defensive pride, defensive knowledge," Brown said on Oct. 16 when asked where Milton has improved. "And you go to the offensive side, the game comes easy to him. He's fluid. Danny Green did this during my Spurs life where he would sit there and sit there and sit there and then you put him in the game in the fourth period, third period, and he'd just be sitting and he'd come in like, 'bam, bam.' He can make a shot cold. Shake does that quite often. He can just sit there and come in and first open look, he's making shots. And so I just think the game comes easy to him. He surely can shoot. And I think that he's improved his defense. And so the question is difference between last year and this year it's defense and the pieces of defense that I just said."
The team will likely turn back to Furkan Korkmaz, who's had a few of his minutes stolen by Milton. Brown also has veteran point guards Raul Neto and Trey Burke he can turn to with his super versatile roster.
The Sixers' slate out West ends on Nov. 8 in Denver. We may get a clearer picture on how long this injury sidelines Milton then.
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