Doc Rivers likes Furkan Korkmaz as a part-time point guard for Sixers

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With the Philadelphia 76ers figuring out what to do when it comes to the point guard spot amid the Ben Simmons drama, options exist for them to turn to. Two of those options are young guards Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey.

However, in Monday’s preseason matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, they did not have Milton or Maxey, and coach Doc Rivers had to improvise.

He started Furkan Korkmaz and Isaiah Joe in Monday’s win, and the two young guards, mostly Korkmaz, ran the point. Korkmaz finished with 27 points and four assists in a strong night for him.

“When he’s in Europe with his national team, he plays point guard,” said Rivers. “He’s capable. Full-time? I don’t know, but he was good. Him and Isaiah, they kind of read each other. When the point guard was pressuring one, the other guy would bring it up. I was really impressed with how Furk and Isaiah handled the ball pressure.”

Nobody expects Korkmaz to be the next Magic Johnson, but the fact he can handle the ball a bit takes some pressure off of others on the roster. As long as he can get the ball across the timeline and get the Sixers into their offense, he will be doing his job.

“I was feeling really comfortable on the court,” Korkmaz explained. “I think my teammates help mostly a lot. Everybody knew how we were gonna play on the court, all the plays, all the play calls, I think we execute the game plan really well. Then, we adjusted the game really well as a team. Like I said, I was feeling super comfortable with the ball.”

The Sixers are looking to unlock the passing part of Korkmaz’s game. For the most part, the fifth-year guard from Turkey has been asked to just catch and shoot. There have not been many opportunities for him to really be a point guard at this level.

“We just want him to make plays and free his brain up as a passer,” Rivers said on Saturday after the team’s scrimmage. “Furk gets in his own head a lot, and what we’re trying to get him to do was just be a basketball player. No one’s in front of you, drive the ball. No one’s in front of you, shoot the ball. Someone’s running at you, drive the ball and then pass the ball, and we’re working with everybody.”

It will be interesting to see how Korkmaz continues to develop his game. It would be a big help for the Sixers if he can become a guy who can put the ball on the floor and create plays for others amid the uncertainty of the Simmons situation.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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