1 Rotation Adjustment Doc Rivers Should Consider
After surviving a stretch with a heavily depleted roster, the Philadelphia 76ers are close to being back to full strength. Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle and Isaiah Joe have all rejoined the team after being sidelined due to health and safety protocol.
These returns could not have come at a better time, as fatigue looked to be hitting the Sixers hard in some of their recent games. They did their best to remain competitive while shorthanded, but it was a tough challenge to overcome. On top of that, players having to play extended minutes over a long stretch of games could have severe long-term effects.
Now that Doc Rivers has close to his full roster at his disposal once again, his rotation can return to normal somewhat. More importantly, he can lessen the workload of some who were asked to take on more in light of the circumstances. That said, there is one adjustment to the rotation he should consider in the short term.
Furkan Korkmaz was one of the biggest surprises to start this season when he thrived in a role he’d never done before in the NBA. Due to Ben Simmons’ absence and Shake Milton being injured, the 24-year-old filled in as the Sixers’ backup point guard behind Tyrese Maxey.
Furkan Korkmaz gets fancy with the no-look dime to Charles Bassey 😎pic.twitter.com/3pxJ31EZnN
— Sixers Nation (@SixersNationCP) November 19, 2021
While Korkmaz started the year on a high note, he is in the midst of a rough cold spell right now. Over his last six games, Korkmaz has failed to score more than nine points. On top of that, he is shooting 12-58 (20.6%) from the floor and 7-38 (18.4%) from beyond the arc.
This rough patch could be from logging big minutes, the wrist injury that caused him to miss some time, or a mixture of the two. Whatever the source, Korkmaz is someone who could benefit from some added rest.
All shooters go through cold spells. It’s almost guaranteed for outside shooters. The only issue is when Korkmaz isn’t knocking down shots, he doesn’t provide much else for the Sixers. Sure he has improved as a facilitator, but not impactful enough to keep him on the floor when his threes aren’t falling.
With Thybulle and Joe back on the bench, Rivers once again has options at the wing position. Both players are more than capable to step in and provide a spark. Joe was a huge standout in the preseason with his scorching hot shooting. Swapping him in for Korkmaz at times will still give the lineup a deadeye outside shooter.
Matisse Thybulle playing the best defense you can play against Damian Lillard.
— Harrison Grimm (@Harrison_Grimm) November 21, 2021
Making this adjustment should not be a permanent move, but one Rivers should give some thought to. The Sixers’ roster is loaded with guys who can get hot from three in a hurry. It makes sense to ride the hot hand at times. Giving Korkmaz some added rest could help him catch his breath and get back to looking like the player we saw in the early weeks of the season.