It finally happened last night, Brett Brown out of the clouds announces that the 1st overall pick would be playing in last night's game. Brown even getting a little bit emotional.
Just like that, 68 games later, Markelle Fultz was injected back into the line up. I was on the fence of whether or not he'd play at all this year so yesterday was a pleasant surprise.
One thing I have to say before we jump into the game. Here is what the arena sounded like last night when Fultz was put in for the first time.
The reason I bring this up is because this city receives a ton of bad and mostly inaccurate press from the national media. How Philadelphia runs players out of town, how we boo'd McNabb and how we're too harsh to our own players.
What you heard in the arena and on your TV last night was an entire city wrapping their collective arms around a kid that has been through a mental battle. An entire fan base show gratitude for his hard work and never quit mindset.
With a standing ovation Markelle officially became part of the Philadelphia sports family.
As for the game itself Fultz played 14 minutes and helped the Sixers capture their 7th straight win.
In those minutes he had 10 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and was a +16. He didn't get to the free throw line so we didn't have an opportunity to see that but we did get a taste of what this kid has to offer.
Things started a little slow as he committed his only turnover of the night the first time he touched the ball and air balled his first shot.
He stayed aggressive however the entire game and looked confident even after the first two mishaps. His first bucket came off a nice move to the rim and an easy layup.
And how about that broken jump shot for Fultz?
Looked pretty good last night.
But the moment of the night, the one that gave me goosebumps, was right before Fultz checked back in during the fourth. The crowd gave Fultz the "SKOL"/"Foles" treatment. How many different ways can Philadelphia own the Vikings?
Back to the court, what made Markelle such a success at Washington was his quickness, change of direction and ability to make shots on the move. All three of those were on display last night.
Last night was a huge night for The Process. Have we reached the finish line yet? Of course not. But if you would have told me 6 months ago the Sixers would be fighting with Cleveland for the 3rd seed in the East I would have laughed in your face.
The goal for this season was to make the playoffs and show promise for the future. They've done both of those BEFORE adding the 1st overall pick back in the line up.
Goals change and now the mindset for this team shouldn't be getting complacent with being in the playoffs. Philadelphia has a legit shot of playing in the conference finals.
So is a back up quarterback beating one of the greatest dynasties in sports history led by the greatest quarterback in NFL history during the Superbowl.