As the Sixers prepared for the third matchup of the preseason on Sunday afternoon, one of their key players at this moment went down during practice. Shake Milton, who's been in a battle for the starting point guard position with second-year guard Tyrese Maxey, rolled his ankle, according to Philly's head coach Doc Rivers.
When asked about the plan for who plays during Monday night's preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at home, Rivers made it clear that he can't guarantee who plays or not because injuries can shake up the lineup. That's when Rivers revealed Milton was one of a handful of players who dealt with a minor setback on Sunday.
"[The third preseason game] just goes by health," Rivers explained. "Like, how many guys, I mean, we had a bunch of guys go down today. Nothing bad, but you know, tweaked ankles and stuff. So, you just really by the third or fourth game you're trying to get through health-wise, and you're gonna start seeing some guys out. It's a great example. We had a plan, but then I think Shake (Milton) stepped on somebody's foot today. That doesn't mean he can't play tomorrow -- but one of the guys who were gonna sit out may have to play now. That's just the way it works all the time. You have plans, and sometimes the plans change."
As the injury report for Monday's matchup has yet to be released, it's unclear right now if Milton will have the opportunity to face the Nets. The last time the Sixers took the court against the Toronto Raptors, Milton found himself in the starting lineup. Following Philly's second outing of the preseason, Rivers raved about Milton's ability to bounce back after a rough first performance on Tuesday night.
Based on Rivers' postgame press conference a few nights back, it seems the plan was for Milton to come off the bench once again against the Nets as the Sixers would likely offer Tyrese Maxey another opportunity to state his case as a starter. Now that Milton rolled his ankle after stepping on Andre Drummond's foot during Sunday's practice, he could see his playing time decrease on Monday if he is cleared for action.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.