Brett Brown joined 97.5 The Fanatic this morning, announcing that he anticipates starting Markelle Fultz in the season opener against the Boston Celtics.
Brett Brown just told us on @975Mornings that he plans on starting Markelle Fultz tomorrow night.— Jamie Lynch (@jelynchjr) October 15, 2018
This isn’t a surprise, quite the contrary. But it also hadn’t been set in stone. The door was always open for Brett Brown to reinsert JJ Redick into the starting lineup following what was for the most part an uninspiring preseason from Markelle Fultz.
Fultz showed many fans exactly what they needed to see this preseason. But his performances weren’t anything extraordinary by any stretch of the imagination. Starting JJ Redick in place of Markelle Fultz wouldn’t even be so much a condemnation of Fultz as it would be an ode to one of the league’s best 5-man units.
If I were coaching the Sixers, I would not start Fultz to begin the season. I really don’t even understand the rush to do so. Instill confidence? Doesn’t making Markelle the first man off the bench with 26+ MPG and an opportunity to run the offense do that? Instead, this now puts Markelle in a position where a transition to a new role, should that be needed in the event that things don’t work out, can only be a demotion. Brown now sort of has to ride with Fultz in the starting lineup regardless of the results early on. Otherwise, Brown could risk demolishing any confidence boosts Fultz may already have.