De’Anthony Melton explains why he’s fighting to return to help Sixers

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Philadelphia 76ers are returning home for Games 3 and 4 in their Round 1 series with the New York Knicks down 0-2 in the series, but help could be on the way.

De’Anthony Melton, who hasn’t played since April 12 due to a bothersome back issue, was able to return to practice on Wednesday afternoon as Philadelphia prepares to battle back against the Knicks. He has only played seven games in the 2024 calendar year and is continuing to fight to get back on the court to help his team.

“The last couple days–yesterday, I was able to get up and down and get some live action in,” said Melton on Wednesday. “That was really good for me and my body. Today, I went through practice. So I’m feeling good. I’m feeling good for the game tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes.”

One has to wonder why Melton continues fighting back and returning to the floor. He will be a free agent in the offseason and one figures that he would sit back and prepare for free agency to prevent further injury.

Not in this case. Melton wants to dig deep and continue to be there for the Sixers in the playoffs.

“I feel like when this team is fully healthy and we’ve got everybody going, I feel like we’re the best team in the league,” he explained. “We’ve all felt like that. Even at the beginning of the year, understand we have had a lot of trades, but honestly, we’ve gotten better after the trade deadline so just being able to attach myself to that, we can be an elite team.”

In terms of what is slowing him down in his return to the floor, Melton revealed it’s been the day after stuff. A day after he puts in a tough workout and things of that nature, the Sixers are weary of that.

“It’s more so the next day stuff,” he added. “The soreness in my back and stuff like that…With the playoffs here pretty much, that’s when we’ll figure it out so I can be out there and help my team.”

Game 3 against the Knicks is set for 7:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday.

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire