For most of his career, Philadelphia 76ers guard Furkan Korkmaz has been a bit of a one-trick pony. His role was to come off the bench and just shoot open looks from deep and that was it.

However, as his game has grown, so has his role. In the 2021-22 season, the Sixers have asked Korkmaz to do a bit more such as be a ball-handler amid the Ben Simmons saga as well as rebound more and defend.

While Korkmaz is still an obvious work in progress on the defensive end of the floor, coach Doc Rivers does notice some improvement from him on that end. He understands how to play team defense as well as understand game plans and how important film study is in order to succeed defensively.

“Much better,” said Rivers. “Still a work in progress. We still gotta get him more physical on drivers. He kinda gives in instead of using the forearm more. Definitely a better help defender than he was when we got here. He knows where to be now so that’s good.”

Rivers then went into the importance of lifting weights has been for Korkmaz in his success. There are so many physical and gifted scorers in the league and one has to be ready for them not only in film study, but to also be physically ready and have the tools to defend.

“Just weights,” Rivers added. “That’s what him and Shake (Milton), Shake’s stronger as well. Seth (Curry), they all have to be. Seth and Tyrese (Maxey), they’re undersized so they have to be stronger. Furk with that body is just gonna keep filling out and that’s good for us.”

With Danny Green ailing right now, there will be more pressure on Korkmaz in order to produce for this team right now. They are in the midst of a tough road trip so they will have to get more out of the veteran out of Turkey on both ends in order to get back on track.

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

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