This is the 18th edition of the weekly 76ers mailbag.
Each week, Inquirer.com followers may submit questions to be answered on Friday.
Missed out on the party this week? No worries. Submit question(s) for next time by following me on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers and tweeting your inquiry with the hashtag #PompeysMailbagFlow.
Answer: Thanks for asking a question, J. I’m leaning toward coach Brett Brown sticking with Shake Milton in the starting lineup. As a result, Al Horford will come off the bench. Yes, Milton has played well. But the Horford pairing with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons all on the floor together has been a failure. That’s why I have Horford going back to being Embiid’s backup. Simmons will be listed as the point guard but could actually be a point forward while Milton plays point guard.
Milton averaged 14.1 points and shot 50% from three-point land in his 16 starts this season. He is averaging 19.4 points and is shooting 51.9% on three-pointers in his last five games -- all starts. That stretch was highlighted by career-high 39 points in a six-point road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers back on March 1.
So, yes, he definitely deserves to remain the starter.
A: Thanks for the question, Lucky. I think the biggest change will have to do with Simmons being back in the lineup. I’m not sure if the two-time All-Star would have been available to play had the postseason started at the normal time in April. I actually didn’t think it would have been wise for him to play at the time.
So back then, I expected the Sixers to have a postseason starting lineup of Tobias Harris, Horford, Embiid, Josh Richardson and Milton. Now, I expect to see a starting lineup of Simmons, Harris, Embiid, Richardson, and Milton.
This would also allow the Sixers to alter their postseason rotation. Horford’s coming off the bench will lead to power forward Mike Scott’s minutes being reduced or eliminated. One can also assume that reserve centers Kyle O’Quinn and Norvel Pelle will be out of the rotation.
A: What’s up, man? From the time the season shut down, NBA commissioner Adam Silver talked about wanting to come back as a way to help restart the United States economy.
We can go on and on about various other reasons why they decided to come back. But let’s face it, the league, owners, and players are losing money due to the shutdown. By not having at least a postseason, the league could lose around an additional $900 million in national television revenue.
So from a financial standpoint, it benefits the league to resume play. However, I see exactly where you are coming from in regards to the pandemic. The NBA will be cautious. The league will have a 22-team format to restart the season on July 31 at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The teams will be in a “campus-like” atmosphere and they will be tested daily.