Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons Markelle Fultz 1st postseason

PHILADELPHIA,PA - MARCH 26 : Markelle Fultz
PHILADELPHIA,PA - MARCH 26 : Markelle Fultz /
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The Philadelphia 76ers selected top picks Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz in consecutive NBA Drafts. But neither enjoyed NCAA tournament play. The 2018 NBA Playoffs is their first postseason, and they finally learn playoff basketball.

The Philadelphia 76ers had the difficult selection of choosing the first player in both the 2016 and 2017 NBA Drafts. In choosing Ben Simmons in 2016, and Markelle Fultz in 2017, the team imported the two best backcourt players of their respective years. Top picks of the NBA Draft seldom land on the same team. They never debut on the same team in the same season.  While the Philadelphia 76ers aim at the 2018 NBA Playoffs, there are several aspects of the postseason which are not getting much public awareness.

Of course, there is the headlining Ben Simmons, whose rookie season is so far ahead of anyone else in the field, that some now argue he is not a true rookie. Be that as it may, The reality is that Simmons sat out an entire season due to a foot injury. And with any prolonged absence, the positives of acclimating to a new NBA team and city are offset against the lengthy time away from the basketball court. But Simmons did not arrive to the NBA fresh out of the NCAA tournament. LSU didn’t get the nod. So while other NCAA teams competed, Simmons readied for the draft.

Makeover Markelle

And then there is Markelle Fultz. He sat out nearly his entire NBA rookie season, thanks to a scapular muscle imbalance, poor shooting mechanics, and a series of conflicting stories that cancel one another out in the grand scheme of things.  But the young man arrived to the NBA as one of the most highly regarded talents to arrive to the NBA. And the consensus for the NBA class of 2017 was that he was the premier prospect.

But like the top pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Markelle Fultz did not carry his team to the NCAA tournament. In fact, he couldn’t even accomplish .500 basketball with the Washington Huskies. and like his teammate, Fultz did not arrive to the NBA fresh out of competing in the NCAA tournament, nor even the NIT tourney. He prepared for the NBA Draft.