Sixers Lead

Korkmaz Maintaining Steady Presence for Sixers

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Furkan Korkmaz, otherwise known as ‘Furky From Turkey wit da Jerky,’ according to Mike Scott, or ‘GOAT-maz’, as said by Ben Simmons, has truly made his mark with the Sixers this season.

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His Story

Korkmaz has been with the Sixers since the 2017-18 season. Last season, he did not receive the playing time he felt he deserved. This was understandable, though, as rookie Landry Shamet earned minutes with his productivity as a sharpshooter off the bench. Following that, the Sixers decided not to pick up his option for the 2019-20 season. He actually requested a trade in the fall of 2018, but luckily they agreed on a two-year deal.

 

His Impact

Throughout January alone, Korkmaz has been shooting 42.9% from 3-point range. That follows a very strong December, when he posted a 41.1% clip. As if that is not enough, the Sixers have been 11-2 when Korkmaz has at least three 3-pointers in a game.

As the Sixers have had to adjust to life without Joel Embiid, they have been unable to find much luck in their attempts to “fill” his role. Prior to these past three games, Mike Scott was the replacement starter. Due to Scott’s lack of production, however, Brett Brown decided to change things up by starting Matisse Thybulle in his place. Although that fifth starting spot is important, the Sixers fate many times seems to fall on the players coming off the bench.

Case in point — in the Sixers’ 117-106 win over the Nets, Korkmaz was a monster off the bench. He had 15 points and two rebounds.

Similarly, in the next game, a 100-89 win against the Bulls, Korkmaz had a career-high 24 points. He was 6-of-9 from 3-point range, and added four rebounds. This was his first time as the Sixers’ leading scorer, and it was the most points by a Sixers’ reserve since Shamet dropped 29 points on January 8th, 2019 (oh how the tables have turned). Brett Brown mentioned that he “had flashbacks of JJ [Redick]… though I don’t remember JJ dunking like that” after this historic night.

 

The next night, Korkmaz kept the winning streak alive in a hard-fought 90-87 win over the Knicks. He had 17 points, including an important free throw with 4.2 seconds left that helped seal the game.

 

In yesterday’s 117-111 win over the Brooklyn Nets, Korkmaz contributed 10 points, including a dagger 3-pointer that put the Sixers up by five with 23 seconds remaining.

His Controversy

Despite his success, there are still some critical fans who are not happy when he is on the court. However, he has the potential to be a very valuable player to the Sixers, as they continue their search for a consistent bench scorer. If this great stretch of games since mid-December continues, then it is clear that the Sixers have found their man.

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About Dakota Hurwitz

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