76ers' Markelle Fultz Talks New Shooting Form, Injury, Offseason Improvements

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2018

Philadelphia 76ers' Markelle Fultz poses for a photograph during media day at the NBA basketball team's practice facility, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Camden. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Markelle Fultz's shooting stroke has been a hot topic in Philadelphia and around the basketball world for the better part of a year now. 

Those concerns may soon be a thing of the past.

Fultz got fans buzzing by posting an Instagram video of himself shooting jump shots, and on Wednesday, Stadium posted an interview in which the point guard discussed his shot and said this year is going "to be a great year":

Jeff Goodman's full interview with Fultz can be viewed on Stadium's website.

Fultz is coming off a season in which he averaged 7.1 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game as a rookie. However, last year's No. 1 overall pick was limited to just 14 games as a rookie due to a shoulder injury, and he appeared in just three of his team's 10 postseason games, logging a total of 23 minutes.

While the overall numbers were decent, his shooting stroke came under heavy scrutiny as he shot just 40.5 percent from the floor and 47.6 percent from the line.

In the interview, the 6'4", 200-pound guard made it clear his injury was to blame for his poor performance. As a result, he also had to get over the mental aspect of trying to rediscover his shot when he did finally get back on the court.

Fultz has worked with basketball trainer Drew Hanlen this summer to work on his game. In an episode of the Talking Schmidt Podcast (h/t PhillyVoice.com's Kyle Neubeck) earlier this summer, Hanlen talked about Fultz's struggles:

"With Markelle, obviously he has one of the most documented cases of kind of the yips of basketball in recent years, where he completely forgot how to shoot and had multiple hitches in his shot," Hanlen said. "So for me it was, 'Hey listen, how can I get this kid that was No. 1 in last year's draft back rolling and get him to the point where he was before, if not better?'"

Not only that, but he believes the Sixers guard's jumper will eventually be "perfect."

Fultz acknowledged to Goodman that he had low points as the doubters piled on, but given he's been "doubted my whole life," all of the criticism has made him "more hungry." With the regular season right around the corner, Fultz also told Goodman that he is 80 to 90 percent both physically and mentally. 

With an improved and motivated Fultz, the Sixers could be even more dangerous this season after breaking through by snapping a five-year playoff drought last year.

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