Late in the third quarter, you could feel the tides turning in what was a previously raucous Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers were shot out of a cannon to start the game, quickly taking their lead to double digits. The officials made sure it was a close game at half, but again the Sixers raced out to start the 3rd quarter. And then the Hawks went on a run, the pace changed, the anxiety in the building was somehow both silent and deafening. The Hawks took their first lead. The TNT broadcast was doing a scan of fans who looked like they were going to drive off the Ben Franklin Bridge.
And then Doc Rivers inserted Shake Milton into the game.
Up to that point, the Sixers bench had been scoreless. After Milton’s entry, he and Dwight Howard blew the roof of the building as the Sixers lead again rose to 20 early in the 4th, where it would remain.
Shake Milton with a deep three at the buzzer! pic.twitter.com/N1Zt8LhpF4
— Harrison Grimm (@Harrison_Grimm) June 9, 2021
Milton was the hot hand, stroking four three pointers including one monumental buzzer beater and the end of the 3rd quarter. Not only that, he finally rejuvenated a bench unit with his pick and roll game with Howard. He was beating Hawks defenders off the dribble, setting up Howard and once again swaying the momentum back to the Sixers. He was fantastic and it was so well deserved.
I think back to this video of Shake Milton getting shots up after the Sixers clinched against the Wizards. He got booed when he checked into the game that night, barely played and seemingly had his spot taken.
This is awesome. Shake Milton back on the floor getting shots up after the game.
I know fans are down on him, but he was their best bench scorer for a large part of the year. Seems like a good kid and hard worker.
— A (@aidan_34_powers) June 3, 2021
BUT HE STAYED READY.
It’s hard not to be happy for the kid right now.
And his value doesn’t stop here in this series. What we’ve seen from the Hawks is their size is giving the smaller guards of the Sixers fits. Seth Curry was having all kinds of trouble with Kevin Huerter. And the Sixers bench guards often found themselves at a size disadvantage as well. The fan favorite (and rightfully so), Tyrese Maxey was stymied. He was constantly being switched onto taller players like Danillo Gallinari who shot right over him. Shake has some size to him. He can hold his own, if he stops falling for the Lou Williams pump fake. And can also run the offense just as he did for the majority of the season when Ben Simmons hit the bench.
Shake Milton is back. Put the word out there that we back up.