What is Tobias Harris' Advice for 76ers' Shake Milton?
Before the NBA went on a hiatus back in March, Philadelphia 76ers second-year guard Shake Milton was playing out of this world. On Saturday night during the season's restart, however, Milton was brought right back down to earth.
As expected, the Sixers trotted out a brand new starting lineup, which featured Milton as the starting point guard. We've seen a sneak peek of the lineup in action during the first three scrimmages, and Milton looked solid. Through three games, the second-year guard averaged seven points while shooting 44-percent from deep.
On Saturday night, though, Milton wasn't nearly as productive. Through 19 minutes of action, Milton attempted just one shot from the field and failed to collect a single point for the Sixers in the loss against the Pacers. In addition to his lack of scoring, Milton's frustrations contributed to five fouls and four costly turnovers as well.
"I thought he struggled tonight," said Sixers head coach Brett Brown stated following the game. "He got sped up in his mind. He got scored on pretty quickly, and we had a discussion about pick and roll defense with him and Joel [Embiid] about which direction the screen was coming. I thought he chased, for the most part, all game. I think it was born out of frustration, and I think his foul trouble didn't help him to stay in the game and find a rhythm. Tonight, Shake struggled."
A bad game can be detrimental to a young player's mindset. And the last thing the Sixers want to do is allow their starting point guard to lose confidence in himself during the final seven-game stretch before playoffs. So Sixers' veteran leader Tobias Harris revealed some of the advice he has for the second-year guard after the loss.
"Stay confident," Harris said. "We all have confidence in Shake. [It's just] one game. [The] first official game really, as a unit. He's a great player, and he will continue to get better game after game and get his confidence. But the biggest thing is to hold his confidence up all the way throughout. And we affirm him on that and keep him right and ready."
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_