Korkmaz, Shamet Come Up Big Off Sixers Bench
(PHILADELPHIA, PA) - Before the Sixers played the Pistons on Monday night in Philadelphia, head coach Brett Brown said the team needed more scoring from his bench.
Enter Furkan Korkmaz.
Korkmaz had a career-high 18 points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal in 25 minutes of play off the bench, hitting a career-high four three-point field goals to help the Sixers beat the Pistons 116-102.
"It was huge," Brown admitted after the game. "Look at the points the bench gave us. I think they had 11 threes. Furkan came in and he was our bell ringer tonight."
The 21-year old former first-round pick was getting some extra minutes because of a groin injury to Jimmy Butler, and took full advantage of the extra time.
"He’s not intimidated by NBA basketball," Brown continued.
"He’s not intimidated by the moment. I don’t know how much you paid attention to Turkey in the qualification series, but, I have said this a lot, he was one of the better guards in that tournament. He’s got a bounce, he has an inner belief, there is a swagger that he has when he is going to make a play. He may miss a lot of shots, he may make a lot of shots, but there really isn’t any sort of trepidation, there is not a back down in Furkan. I thought he played the game well and he played it with a lot of confidence."
Korkmaz is no doubt a streaky shooter, and its something his teammates have taken notice of.
"I think offensively, no question, he’s a great player, offensively," Sixers guard Ben Simmons acknowledged. "He knocks down shots, plays the right way, the European style of play."
The Sixers also got some solid bench minutes from rookie Landry Shament. The 21-year old guard was questionable due to a back injury, but ended up playing one of this better games of the season, starting the second-half with Butler out.
The Wichita State alum poured in 10 points, with three rebounds, one assist, and three 3-pointers in 22 minutes.
"I thought Landry Shamet came up with some aggressive plays, especially at the end when it was sort of hanging around. He had the big offensive rebound off Ben’s missed free throw."
Brett Bown asked for more scoring from his bench, mission accomplished.
In total the Sixers bench poured in 54 points and placed four players in double-figures
"Our bench was big tonight," Brown said.