After a breakout year in 2019-2020, Sixers reserve Furkan Korkmaz looked forward to building on his emergence. In 72 games last season, Korkmaz averaged a career-high of 9.8 points-per-game and knocked down 40-percent of his threes. On a team that struggled in three-point shooting, Korkmaz was one of the very few players the Sixers had to worry about in that department.
Unfortunately, he hasn't followed up as expected. Three games into the 2020-2021 NBA season, Korkmaz suffered a lower-body injury which kept him off the court for 11-straight games. Before going out, he was off to a slow start shooting just 25-percent from deep and averaging six points.
Since returning, Korkmaz was inserted right back into the 76ers' main rotation. And while at times he showed flashes of last season's progress, Korkmaz hasn't been all that consistent this season. In the last 21 games, Korkmaz has averaged 8.3 points while shooting 35-percent from beyond-the-arc.
Although he's lacked consistency this year, one thing that the Turkish guard certainly doesn't lack is confidence in his ability to get back on the right track. On Wednesday morning, Korkmaz briefly reviewed his overall performance this year as the first half of the season wraps up against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
While he doesn't believe he was the best version of himself, Korkmaz believes he did enough to help his team get to the position they are in. And in the second half of the season, he intends to be even better personally.
"I had a lot of ups and downs," Korkmaz admitted on Wednesday. "That happens to every player. Overall, we got a lot of wins. We are leading the East. I think that’s more important right now because we are playing for a championship. I’m trying to be healthy mentally and physically because it’s a long season.
“I think I could do more,” Korkmaz continued. “I could give this team more, but I think I did my job. I did OK. The most important part is coming now after the All-Star break. It’s got to be more important, and then I’ll be ready.”
Korkmaz certainly needs to give his team more if he wants to remain a key factor in Philly's rotation. A couple of weeks ago, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers was close to giving up on Korkmaz and leaving him out of the rotation. Then, an injury forced Rivers to keep Korkmaz in the mix, which led to him winning his spot back with an impressive performance over the Toronto Raptors.
Korkmaz might've won his spot back temporarily, but as the playoffs inch closer, he won't have as much wiggle room for mistakes. Once the All-Star break concludes, Korkmaz will have to find consistent success if he wants a role in the postseason.