Fultz to start vs Cs in season opener - is he ready? Will it matter?

The 2018-19 NBA regular season starts tonight with a match between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, and Markelle Fultz will be in the starting lineup.

Fultz has been a riddle of a player, wrapped in mystery as to why his jumper evaporated after being drafted last season, an enigma of a situation. But that Churchillian paraphrase doesn't do justice (Winslow or otherwise) to just how weird Markelle's rookie season went.

Having supposedly "fixed" his jumper this summer working with famed NBA trainer Drew Hanlen, however, he may have also given clues on how to be defended; both Gordon Hayward and the player who was drafted instead of Fultz, Jayson Tatum, worked out with Markelle at Hanlen's Los Angeles-area gym this summer.

Of course, we probably shouldn't expect young Markelle to be taking over games any time soon, but any edge helps, and should add to Tatum's mental database of 76ers' starters (he spent a fair amount of time working out with friend and Philly big man Joel Embiid this summer, with some memorable trash talk).

Are the Celtics ready for a real challenge from their reborn Atlantic Division rivals? Are the 76ers for real this season after losing key depth over the summer? Is Markelle really ready for prime time? How about Hayward, speaking of guys not shooting much last season? How will the tone be set for the coming season?

We'll find out tonight.

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Image: Yong Kim/Philly Inquirer ; videos; Boston Celtics, @Timi_093
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