KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Furkan Korkmaz is arguably the 76ers’ best perimeter shooter. His ability to hit clutch shots is why he has a key role in the rotation.
However, Korkmaz has struggled defensively. So opposing teams have challenged him defensively when he’s on the court.
One has to assume the Boston Celtics will attempt to single him out during the teams’ first-round playoff series at Walt Disney World.
But Korkmaz doesn’t see it that way.
“To be honest, this is not like the beginning of the season,” he said after Monday’s shootaround. “In the beginning of the season, yeah, everybody was trying to pick on me. But right now, I feel like I’m ready to guard anybody.”
Korkmaz noted that the Sixers have a defensive plan. Not just for him, but for the entire team.
“I’m just not looking at myself, ’Who’s going to attack me or not?’ " he said. “I’m going to look at myself and say, ’I will do my job. I’m going to do my best.’ "
For him, that means doing his job at both ends of the floor. Korkmaz said he changed the mentality of the teams that had attacked him earlier.
“So I think I’m ready,” he said.
Korkmaz averaged career highs of 9.8 points and 21.7 minutes this season, shooting 40.3% on three-pointers, in 72 games played, with 12 starts. Back in February, he joined former Sixer JJ Redick as the only team reserves to score 30-plus points in consecutive games since bench stats were first kept during the 1970-71 season.