Shake Milton moves into Sixers starting lineup vs. Charlotte Hornets
Center Joel Embiid will miss the game because of load management, creating an opening in the starting five.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The nod goes to Shake Milton.
Sixers coach Brett Brown announced Friday that Milton will start on the wing in that night’s preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The second-year player will start because two-time All-Star center Joel Embiid will miss the game because of load management. In his absence, five-time All-Star post player Al Horford will slide up from power forward to center. Tobias Harris goes from small forward to power forward.
Those moves left a space available for Milton, who has been impressive this preseason. However, the Sixers also considered leaving Harris at small forward and starting Mike Scott at power forward.
Milton had eight points, making 2 of 3 three-pointers, in 10 minutes, 3 seconds of action in Tuesday’s 144-86 victory over the Guangzhou Loong-Lions. Milton also had a stellar performance in the Sixers’ blue-white scrimmage Oct. 5 at the 76ers Fieldhouse.
Also, Brown said Raul Neto will be the backup point guard against the Hornets. Trey Burke was the backup vs. the Loong-Lions. The two are battling for the position, and Brown wants to give them equal opportunities to show they can fulfill that role.
Milton was taken by the Dallas Mavericks with the 54th overall pick of the 2018 draft and traded on draft night to the Sixers. He later signed a two-way contract with the team.
The 23-year-old averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 13.4 minutes in 20 games with the Sixers last season. In July, Milton was the starting point guard on the Sixers’ summer team.