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Sixers' Brown says Markelle Fultz won't be defined by shooting woes

The rookie's shot has been hurt by a shoulder injury. His coach says Fultz can still do plenty of things well.

Sixers guard Markelle Fultz was shooting only 34.8 percent from the field entering the Pistons game.
Sixers guard Markelle Fultz was shooting only 34.8 percent from the field entering the Pistons game.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

DETROIT  —  76ers coach Brett Brown was asked Monday if he had any concern that playing Markelle Fultz through his right shoulder injury would develop bad shooting habits.

"No, I don't," Brown said before the game with the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesar's Arena. "I'm advised mostly by the medical people. That's what I get worried about the most, and nobody has any fears."

Fultz is having a tough time raising his arm, which is easy to notice when he shoots foul shots. The 19-year-old also avoids shooting from the outside despite having been a solid three-point shooter in college.

"As I said to Markelle, this is not going to define you," Brown said. "This first season is not going to define you. We are going to focus on all the other things that will define you."

The Sixers believe the first overall pick will be defined by being engaged in defense, running an NBA offense and knowing what to do in pick-and-rolls.

However, shoulder and knee soreness led to his missing three games in the preseason. That missed time cost him his starting position. Fultz was shooting only 34.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from the foul line heading into Monday's game. He was averaging 7.3 points and 19.7 minutes.

"So far, he's like so compliant and not tricked by just stats," Brown said.

Red-hot Bayless

Tenth-year veteran Jerryd Bayless is off to the best start of his career. The shooting guard had scored in double figures in the three games heading into Monday's matchup. His 47 points entering the game were his career best through three games. His previous best (33 points) came in the only three games he played last season. Then Bayless had season-ending surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left wrist.

But this season, Bayless averaged 15.7 points on 58.6 percent shooting through the first three games. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder also made 9 of 16 three-pointers (56.3 percent).

"I've put in the time to work on my game and be ready," Bayless said. "Luckily the shots have been going in."

He's actually looked like the perfect player the Sixers need to play in their system, in which three-point shooters are golden. Bayless often roams around the three-point line when point guard Ben Simmons penetrates. Bayless is often left open as teams focus on stopping Simmons, Joel Embiid, and J.J. Redick. He has been making opponents pay for that tactic.

Bonding time

The Sixers had a team a dinner Sunday night in the Detroit area after flying in from Toronto. The dinner wasn't a result of their 128-94 setback to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. This outing was organized before then.

"It wasn't anything that we needed to talk about something," Bayless said. " It was just dinner. It was fun, a lot of fun."

The team thought about having a get-together in Toronto, but some players had other things planned already.

"So we just felt like it would be better in Detroit," Redick said. "So we just did it here."