Furkan Korkmaz Remains Productive for Sixers
No matter how you slice it, the Philadelphia 76ers are going to need former first-round pick Furkan Korkmaz to be productive. He proved again on Sunday night that he can supply the one thing the Sixers team lacks - three-point shooting.
When it comes to the eye test, he is starting to pass the test. He was impressive once again in Sunday’s win over the Hornets, playing 28 minutes off the bench, scoring 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, hitting three 3-pointers with three rebounds, one assist and one block.
Last week in a loss in Phoenix, Korkmaz finished with 20 points, five rebounds, two assists and four 3-pointers in 34 minutes.
Coach Brett Brown has showed confidence in Korkmaz in Portland, drawing up the game-winning shot attempt for him, and he delivered and since then he has been a different player.
"He’s playing with confidence," Brown stated. "We talked about trying to grow a three-point bomber and he makes that shot in Portland, which puts his confidence at an all-time high, as it should be."
Beyond Korkmaz’s string of solid games, he is showing that he is more than just a one-trick pony, who just shoots three-points shots. He is helping out on both ends of the floor, earning more playing time.
"His defense is what I’m most happy with," Brown explained. "He’s sitting in his stance and isn’t as isolation-pick-on-kind-of-guy. They will still try to test him and he holds his ground more now than he has in the past."
While his defense is nice, the Sixers need Korkmaz to remain consistent from three-point range. With J.J. Redick now in New Orleans, Korkmaz is the one guy on the team who can really get hot from beyond-the-arc, and has even performed pretty evenly to Redick so far this season.
For a player that dealt with confidence and aggression issues during this first two seasons in the league, he has looked like a different player so far, especially since hitting that game-winning shot in Portland and his teammates have noticed.
"Yeah, I think he’s definitely getting more opportunities and he has a lot of confidence in his shot," Tobias Harris said. "We’ve been able to find him and he has a quick release too, so he can get it off. He’s just playing with a lot of confidence, I think. You know we were joking with him saying that he’s a new man. He is starting to play like it too, so it’s always good, especially a game like today with him coming off the bench and hitting three threes. He scored 17 points."
With that in mind, the coach still made it clear they need this from the former No. 26 overall pick in the 2016 draft.
"He’s playing good basketball and we need him to."