After going through a cold shooting spell in the first round, many wondered if Shake Milton will see more minutes down the line in the postseason. With rotations beginning to thin and the stellar play of Tyrese Maxey, Milton found himself on the outside looking in.
One person who never lost faith in Milton was head coach Doc Rivers. Even with his poor play against the Wizards, Rivers still believed Milton could be an impact player for the Sixers in the future.
It did not take long for Rivers' statement to manifest itself. Fast forward to game 2 against the Hawks on Tuesday night, and Milton's time had come.
With the Sixers' second unit struggling for most of the game, Rivers dug deep into the bench. He called on Milton to try and provide some life, and Milton did not disappoint.
Not only did Milton provide scoring off the bench, but his offensive outburst also led the Sixers on a run to help seal the win. Milton finished the game with 14 points despite not checking in for the first time until the closing minutes of the third quarter.
This performance would not have been possible without the continued work Milton put in behind the scenes. He kept himself ready at all times, knowing that an opportunity like Game 2 might arise.
After the game, Rivers praised Milton for his performance and the work he put in prior. The night before Game 2, Milton was in the gym at 10 p.m., getting extra shots up and playing one-on-one.
"He prepared himself, and he believed that he would get another shot, and he got it. He gave us a huge lift, so I'm very happy for him," said Rivers.
Game 2 was the first time this postseason that Milton looked like himself. The confidence he showed on the floor was a great sign after struggling against the Wizards in the opening round.
With this performance, Milton might have just landed himself back in the rotation.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.