Now that the Sixers have wrapped up their first postseason matchup, it is time to reflect on the team through five games. While there were some standouts in the opening round, one player struggled mightily against the Wizards.
Shake Milton had a series to forget. The cold spell against Washington was arguably his worst of the entire season. He finished the series only averaging 3.4 points per game.
Whether it is mental or physical, something is off with Milton. He is a much better player than his numbers depict, and everyone knows it. Heading into this season, many expected him to be a candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
As the Sixers get deeper into the postseason, the rotations are likely to shrink. Doc Rivers never picked a set number for his rotation, but it is unlikely he goes 10 or 11 players deep in later rounds.
After struggling against the Wizards, Milton could be on the outside looking in on the rotation. Based on Rivers' comments following game five, that might not be the case.
Rivers still has faith in Milton, and thinks he can be an impact player for the Sixers down the line.
"I still believe in him. Shake [Milton] is going to help us win several games on this journey. I can guarantee you that," said Rivers postgame on Wednesday.
Milton understands he needs to break out of this funk and continues to put in the extra work. When all the players retreated to the locker room after the game, he stayed on the floor for an extra 15 minutes, getting shots up with one of the team's trainers. He is not ready to surrender his spot just yet.
Finding the minutes will be the biggest battle for Milton moving forward. Tyrese Maxey and Furkan Korkmaz provided a nice spark in games four and five. They are likely to see consistent minutes in the second round against Atlanta.
These next three days should be good for a player like Milton. It will allow him to put what happened behind him and focus on the challenge ahead. Hopefully, he can hit the reset button and get back to playing at the level we are accustomed to seeing.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.