Doc Rivers explains why he started Furkan Korkmaz in loss to Heat

·2 min read

MIAMI–The Philadelphia 76ers were shorthanded on Saturday night when they paid a visit to the Miami Heat. Not only were they on the second night of a back-to-back, but they were also missing superstar guard James Harden.

The Sixers decided to hold Harden out due to a management program for his hamstring, which coach Doc Rivers says is nothing to worry about, and that made it tough in a 99-82 loss to the Heat on the road.

In Harden’s place, Rivers turned to Furkan Korkmaz to get the start. It was a little surprising considering he has had a tough year shooting the ball–he was at 29.5% from deep entering Saturday–and he did not play in the second half at all on Friday.

However, Rivers turned to the fifth-year guard from Turkey and he explained his decision.

“Because we needed a point guard coming off the bench,” said Rivers. “You start Shake (Milton) and Tyrese (Maxey), now who’s your point guard off the bench? It wasn’t that difficult of a decision.”

Korkmaz had another tough night as he had two points on 1-for-5 shooting, he was 0-for-4 from deep, and he was a minus-5 in 21 minutes of play. To Rivers’ point, they would not have a ball-handler, but the Korkmaz minutes have been tough all season long and he maybe could have looked at a guy like Danny Green to start in Harden’s place.

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