The Philadelphia 76ers were able to pick up a 113-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday thanks to the play of their superstar big man, but they also received a big game out of their bench as well.
Furkan Korkmaz hopped off the bench and he poured in 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting and he shot 4-for-7 from deep in the win. This is the second straight game where he was able to go for 20 points and he showed off more of his offensive game a bit.
He was able to put the ball on the floor and score off the dribble which is not really something he had in his arsenal in the past. The fact that Philadelphia is continuing to get more out of Korkmaz is a big positive sign moving forward.
“He’s been great,” said coach Doc Rivers. “He has great rhythm and he’s doing less. I thought he went through that stretch where he tried to do too much with the ball and now he’s not. He’s taking a shot when he has it, the straight line dries, which is phenomenal for us. He’s not dancing with the ball anymore and we thought he got into that a little bit. I thought that threw him off.”
Rivers makes a good point there. There are so many times when Korkmaz tries to do too much with the ball and he overthinks a lot. On Monday, it was a more relaxed game for him and he was able to get his points and give the team a boost off the bench.
“He is definitely telling me everyday ‘You’ve got to have straight-line drives and then you’re going to make the defense, make some decision’,” Korkmaz said of Rivers. “He’s telling us every day, especially me. He wants me to go downhill more, especially when I play pick-and-rolls.”
Playing more decisively can lead to more consistency. When one has a plan of attack, a player can do more and there is less he really has to worry about. Being able to have this mindset now has been very helpful for him.
“It definitely feels good,” Korkmaz added. “Especially when you play on the road. The games are tougher, I believe, and then I’m glad that I helped the team. Scoring, getting some steals, doing something on the court, that makes me really happy.”
At this point right now, the Sixers just need more of this from the fourth-year guard out of Turkey. This is the type of game that can help push him along a little bit and get him back on the right foot.
“He’s taking the shots he should take and our guys are finding him,” Rivers finished. “I thought Shake (Milton) did a great job, tonight. Shake’s a scorer, but he really saw that Furk had it going and he tried to get Furk the ball. I thought that was really good.”
The Sixers now return home on Wednesday following a 3-1 road trip.