“Why not Furk?”
That’s what 76ers coach Brett Brown asked Wednesday night about Furkan Korkmaz when talking about the team’s need to develop a potent three-point specialist.
“I need to grow a bomber,” Brown said after the Sixers’ 107-93 season-opening victory over the Boston Celtics.
“Like, really, somebody is going to emerge, where they are lightning in a bottle,” the coach said. “They can come in and ‘bam, bam, bam’ and make a three. And why not Furk?”
The third-year reserve guard’s lone three-point attempt Wednesday night halted the Celtics’ rally and ignited the Sixers.
Gordon Haywood pulled Boston to within four points, 77-73, with 9 minutes, 31 seconds remaining. The Sixers called a timeout as a way to settle down.
After the timeout, Al Horford received the ball at the top of the key from Josh Richardson. Horford quickly swung the ball to Korkmaz. After catching the ball, Korkmaz buried a 26-foot three-pointer in front of a charging Marcus Smart.
His shot started a 10-0 Sixers run to give them a 14-point cushion with 7:12 remaining. The Celtics never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
Korkmaz finished with three points on 1-for-2 shooting to go with four rebounds in 19:02 of action. He also drew a huge charge on Kemba Walker in the fourth quarter.
“I’m really happy about being in," Korkmaz said, “But at the same time on the stats, it doesn’t say too much. But I think on the court I did a good job, especially defensively to keep me on the court.”
The Turkish player knew his opportunity would come. It was just a matter of being ready, he said.
The Sixers need a consistent three-point specialist off the bench. They’ll have to trade for one before the trade deadline in February if someone on the team doesn’t assume that role.
The Sixers struggled behind the three-point line in the preseason. Wednesday night was no different. They made just 7 of 29 three-pointers for 24.1%.