How important is Markelle Fultz to a deep 76ers playoff run?

After a controversial five-month hiatus, Markelle Fultz’s surprising return to the surging Philadelphia 76ers has played a sizeable role in their late-season run as the hottest team in the NBA. In his past 11 games, Fultz is averaging an impressive 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 9.4 assists and 2.1 turnovers per 36 minutes while becoming the youngest player in NBA history to notch a triple-double in the Sixers’ regular-season finale. He has also helped spark a seemingly unstoppable bench unit.

Slotted behind likely Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons and playing in a lineup with shooting and experience at virtually every position, Fultz has been able to play free of wild expectations. But fans still hang on his every jump shot attempt.

The Heat regularly sagged off Fultz when he initiated offense in the half court, daring him to beat them from the perimeter:

Kevin Durant has had a rough time with social media over the past year, dating back to when Twitter figured out he had a burner account to reply to haters. Since then, Durant on his phone sitting at his locker has become a meme. On Monday, a screenshot began to circulate showing Durant liking a comment that criticized Russell Westbrook. The comment stated: “The problem was Westbrook. They had a good a– team.”

After Game 1 of Boston’s first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Celtics guard Terry Rozier accidentally referred to Eric Bledsoe as “Drew Bledsoe,” the former NFL quarterback.

Eric Bledsoe took offense to Rozier’s remark and, when asked about Rozier after Game 2, pretended he didn’t know who Rozier was.

“Who?” Bledsoe said when asked if he takes his matchup with Rozier personally. “I don’t even know who the f— that is.”

Tim Beckham (R), 15.1 percent, Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers (LHP Matthew Boyd): His splits don’t overly favor one type of pitcher, but Beckham still connects with hard contact at an above-average rate, and Boyd’s soft-tossing ways could cure the Orioles’ slump.

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