Sixers See Progress From Furkan Korkmaz During Win Over Spurs in Utah Finale

SALT LAKE CITY – There's much more to what Furkan Korkmaz brings to a game than what can be found by examining a box score.

One of the reasons that the Sixers drafted Korkmaz and worked to bring him over from Europe is his versatility. Korkmaz is a sharpshooter on the surface. Dig a little deeper and you will also find a rookie forward who is willing to pester opponents on defense and set up teammates for quality shots.

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It helped Korkmaz have a bigger impact in the Sixers' 94-86 victory over the Spurs to close out their final day at the Utah Jazz Summer League on Thursday (see Instant Replay). He finished with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 29 minutes.

Korkmaz tries to influence every part of the game while he's on the court because it fits with what he wants to accomplish as a basketball player.

"Everyday I try to think about it, how to get better and better," Korkmaz said. "So I have to be better. I know that."

Count the Sixers' coaching staff among the believers who see him reaching his desired destination. They love his fluidity on the court. They see a player with a diverse skill set who plays at an effective pace and has a feel for the game.

For the Sixers, it adds up to a player who has barely even tugged on the ribbon holding together the package holding his potential.

"As each minute adds up, as each touch adds up, as each shot adds up, as each possession adds up, he's just going to become more comfortable," Sixers Utah Jazz Summer League coach Billy Lange said. "Then you're going to just see the whole skill set he has."

Korkmaz can expect to see big minutes and get plays drawn up for him when the team starts playing in the Las Vegas Summer League this weekend. Lange believes keeping Korkmaz in the game and letting him play through mistakes will make him a better player and build his confidence.

For his part, Korkmaz wants to reward that confidence through applying himself on both ends of the court.

"It's not just about shooting," Korkmaz said. "It's also defense. [Even] if your man scores over you, you just have to keep up and try to give 100 percent."

Miles stepping up
For the second consecutive game, the second unit gave the Sixers a major lift in the second half and opened the door for a fourth-quarter rally. The Sixers outscored San Antonio 66-33 in bench points.

Isaiah Miles took the lead in fueling the comeback. He finished with a team-high 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting and seven rebounds in just 22 minutes off the bench. His biggest highlight came on a reverse layup in the fourth quarter that put the Sixers ahead for good during a decisive 11-0 run.

Miles, a rookie forward out of Saint Joseph's, has impressed the Sixers' coaches with his determination and motor whenever he steps onto the court.

"He's a fighter," Lange said. "What I mean by fight is he's not going to look at the score and let that dictate his attitude. He just goes in and plays with a strong pace about him, just attacking the offensive glass. He's a confident shooter. He's got a high motor on the offensive end."

Miles joined the Sixers' summer league squad a full season removed from a breakout senior campaign with St. Joe's. He led the Hawks in both scoring and rebounding in 2015-16, averaging 18.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Dominant defense
Second-chance points kept the Sixers in the game during a close loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. This time, against the Spurs, the Sixers used their defensive pressure to create extra shots and force San Antonio into a ton of mistakes.

The Sixers forced 25 turnovers to offset 19 of their own. They took full advantage of those miscues, scoring 31 points off of turnovers. The Spurs, on the other hand, totaled just 14 points off of turnovers.

Korkmaz and Jonah Bolden set the tone, finishing with a team-high three steals apiece. Seven different players recorded a steal for the Sixers. 

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