This past weekend, the Philadelphia 76ers received some miserable news regarding their rising rookie, Matisse Thybulle. Just as the first-round pick was beginning to find his groove in the NBA on both sides of the ball, he is forced to step back and take some time off due to a knee injury, which will sideline him for at least two weeks.
Although Thybulle wasn't a starter for the Sixers, he's still considered to be a critical loss. After proving he's worth more minutes on game nights as he earned respect during the absence of Josh Richardson, Thybulle was sure to see a lot more playing time moving forward.
Unfortunately, just a couple of games after Sixers' head coach Brett Brown revealed Thybulle's role would likely increase, the rookie goes down. As expected, the team looked to third-year veteran, Furkan Korkmaz to come and fill in.
On Monday night, Korkmaz received his fair share of minutes without Thybulle in the lineup. And the Turkish star did not disappoint his teammates while playing against the Detroit Pistons. With 22 minutes of playing time off the bench, Furk exploded for a career-high of 22 points, knocking down 56-percent of his shots from the field.
It comes as no secret that Korkmaz's big night off the bench was a massive help to the Sixers' dominant 125-109 win over the Pistons. There's no guarantee that Korkmaz will produce like that on a nightly basis -- but building confidence on the road with growing minutes is an excellent start for the developing 22-year-old.
Following the win on Monday, Sixers' head coach Brett Brown praised Korkmaz for keeping up with his confidence, even after missing key shots. Fellow Sixers guard Ben Simmons also felt great about Korkmaz's performance too.
"[Korkmaz's game was] huge. . . huge," Simmons said. "I mean, Furk's a great player -- he's still learning. Defensively, he has gotten a lot better. Offensively, we have a lot of belief in him [to] knock down shots and just make plays. So, we're happy he stepped up tonight."
One impressive showing won't be enough for Korkmaz. While he has had some remarkable flashes throughout the year, consistency has been the issue for the young reserve.
The hope is that a performance like Monday night's can help Furk transform into a steady contributor off the bench. So far, his teammates seem to be coming around and gaining trust and confidence in him. Now, it's time for Korkmaz to apply it to his own mentality and step up.