Nineteen points isn’t a lot to most No. 1 overall picks, but it’s a milestone when you’ve had as rough a start to your career as Markelle Fultz.
The top pick of the 2017 NBA draft continued an encouraging comeback campaign with the Orlando Magic on Sunday with arguably the best night of his career. Fultz posted a career-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting with three rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes against the Washington Wizards.
Most significantly, Fultz iced the game with a steal and breakaway dunk in which he also drew the and-1. The Amway Center crowd was loving it.
ALL IN on the Markelle Fultz redemption story 🙏pic.twitter.com/rYN0d8H5O6— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) November 18, 2019
Through 13 games with the Magic, Fultz is averaging 10.5 points on 48.6 percent shooting (21.4 percent from deep) with 3.1 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Again, not the best when you compare it to other No. 1 picks like Deandre Ayton or Ben Simmons, but given that there were worries that Fultz’s career would end because of his infamous shooting woes, it is a very solid step forward.
“I never lost confidence,” Fultz said in a postgame interview. “I’m just feeling better. I took the time this summer to rehab and get everything right physically. Each game out there, I’m feeling more and more better. It’s showing in my play and I’m just going to keep going.
Fultz was not his team’s leading scorer on Sunday, or even second, finishing behind Nikola Vucevic’s 30 and Evan Fournier’s 25. However, that was always the hope with Fultz’s place on the Magic, not a featured player but a young talent that wouldn’t be pressured to produce every night.
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