76ers

Ex-Sixer Canaan suffers gruesome injury in Suns' win

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USA Today Images

Ex-Sixer Canaan suffers gruesome injury in Suns' win

PHOENIX -- Rookie forward Josh Jackson matched his career best with 21 points, T.J. Warren added 20 and the Phoenix Suns snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Dallas 102-88 on Wednesday night, handing the Mavericks their fifth loss in a row and eighth in nine games.

Phoenix backup point guard Isaiah Canaan broke his left ankle in a gruesome injury late in the first quarter.

Marquese Chriss added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns, who beat Dallas for the fourth time in a row dating to last season.

After missing Monday night's game in Memphis with bruised ribs, Devin Booker was back starting at point guard for Phoenix and scored 15 points.

Dennis Smith Jr. scored 17, Harrison Barnes 15 and Dirk Nowitzki 14 for the Mavericks, who shot just 36 percent (see full recap).

Blazers’ McCollum nets 50 points in just 3 quarters
PORTLAND, Ore. -- CJ McCollum scored a franchise-record 28 points in the first quarter and finished with a career-high 50 through three periods before heading to the bench, and the Portland Trail Blazers took advantage of the short-handed Chicago Bulls for a 124-108 victory Wednesday night.

McCollum's 28 points in the opening quarter were the most in the NBA this season. His final tally was nine points shy of the team record set by Damian Lillard last season.

Lillard also sat out the final period after adding 13 points and seven assists for the Blazers, who led by as many as 29. It was Portland's fourth straight win overall, a season high, and the club's eighth in a row at home.

Zach LaVine had a season-best 23 points in Chicago's fifth consecutive loss.

Lauri Markkanen was not with the Bulls because he was attending to a personal issue, the team said. The rookie is averaging 15.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Paul Zipser started in his place.

Kris Dunn, averaging 13.7 points and 6.4 assists, missed his sixth straight game after a concussion.

The Bulls decided to sit forward Nikola Mirotic while he reportedly seeks a trade. Coach Fred Hoiberg said before the game that the 6-foot-10 forward remained back at the team hotel. Meanwhile, rumors swirled that the Bulls had a deal with the Pelicans but it fell apart (see full recap).

Cavaliers survive in 1st game without Love
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 24 points, Jae Crowder made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:21 left and the Cleveland Cavaliers began a long stretch without injured All-Star Kevin Love by holding off the Miami Heat 91-89 on Wednesday night.

The Cavs rebounded from a troubling loss at Detroit -- Cleveland gave up 125 points to the undermanned Pistons -- and prevented the Heat from overtaking them for third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Cleveland played its first game since Love broke his left hand against the Pistons. The five-time All-Star is consulting with surgeons in New York, and it's possible he'll undergo an operation as early as Thursday. Love, who could miss two months, already has screws in the hand from a previous procedure after he broke it in 2009 with Minnesota.

While he's out, the Cavs have to hold themselves together.

Goran Dragic scored 18 and Josh Richardson 15 to lead the Heat, who went just 3 of 28 on 3-pointers.

Miami had a last chance after Cleveland's Kyle Korver made one of two free throws with seven seconds left, but Heat forward James Johnson, harassed by James on the baseline, couldn't get off a shot before the horn sounded (see full recap).

Robert Covington, Joel Embiid named to NBA All-Defensive teams

Robert Covington, Joel Embiid named to NBA All-Defensive teams

Robert Covington and Joel Embiid were recognized for their defensive efforts this season.

Covington was named to the All-Defensive first team, Embiid was selected to the second team.

Brett Brown has lauded Covington for his effort plays. He led the league in deflections (3.9), ahead of Paul George and Victor Oladipo. When Covington was on the court, the Sixers had a defensive rating of 99.0 compared to 107.4 when he was off. He also was first in defensive win shares compared to those who played at least 70 percent of their squad’s games. 

Covington finished with 90 points between 27 first-team and 36 second-team votes. He joined leading vote-getter Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, Pacers guard Oladipo and Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday on the first team. 

Embiid led the Sixers with 12.6 rebounds and 1.75 blocks per game this season. When he was the closest defender, opponents shot a league-high 7.8 percentage points worse than expected on field goal attempts. Embiid ranked first in that category, ahead of Davis and Al Horford, off a minimum 200 defended shots. 

Embiid, a Defensive Player of the Year finalist, topped the second team with a total of 90 points (four first-team votes, 82 second team). Warriors forward Draymond Green, Celtics forward/center Horford, Spurs guard Dejounte Murray and Timberwolves guard/forward Jimmy Butler also were named to the team. 

Ben Simmons received five first-team votes. 

A panel of media members voted for two guards, two forwards and one center (based on the players’ most frequent position) for each team. The players who got votes at more than one position (Davis, Horford, Butler) were designated to the position at which they received the highest amount of votes. First-team votes carried two points, second-team votes one. 

Sixers 2017-18 player evaluation: Furkan Korkmaz

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Sixers 2017-18 player evaluation: Furkan Korkmaz

Furkan Korkmaz

Position: Shooting guard/Small forward

Status for 2018-19: Signed for $1,740,000

Korkmaz in 2017-18
And you thought Markelle Fultz had a roller-coaster rookie season. Korkmaz’s first professional season in the U.S. was anything but smooth. 

Despite a promising performance in summer league and the preseason, the Turkish swingman was always going to be buried on the Sixers' bench. However, it wasn’t even clear which jersey he would be wearing on a nightly basis, as Korkmaz was assigned to the Delaware 87ers (now Blue Coats) and recalled by the Sixers 10 different times during the first two months of the season.

Things got even worse in mid-December when Korkmaz suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot while playing in the G League.

By the time Korkmaz returned toward the end of March, his season was a wash. In all, he played 24 total games (15 with the Sixers and nine with the 87ers). While he was able to show glimpses of why he was a first-round pick in 2016 in the Gatorade League (15.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.3 steals in 31.9 minutes a night), his action in the NBA came mostly in garbage time (1.6 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 0.1 steals in 5.7 minutes a contest).

The 2017-18 served as the ultimate learning experience for the 20-year-old Korkmaz.

Signature game
It’s hard to have a signature game when you only play in 15 total NBA games and none of your minutes actually come in meaningful moments. So we’ll go to the G League for this one. 

On Nov. 20, Korkmaz notched 27 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the 87ers’ 119-111 loss to the Wisconsin Herd (see highlights).

Looking ahead to 2018-19
Korkmaz’s proving ground for next season will start this summer when he is expected to take the court in summer league again.

The Sixers hope there he can regain the shooting touch he showed overseas that helped make him a first-rounder. The step up in defensive intensity clearly affected Korkmaz as he shot just 28.6 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from three-point range for the Sixers. He was even worse in one aspect in the G League where he connected on 35.0 percent from the field and a dismal 19.4 percent from three.

Spending another summer in the Sixers’ program will also help benefit Korkmaz’s body. He was able to add some weight to his lean frame this past season but certainly still needs work to take the physicality at this level.

If he is able to work on his shot and physique, perhaps Korkmaz can find some more minutes for Brett Brown next season other than when the games are already decided.

On Korkmaz
“The NBA’s totally different, but [when] you get used to it, it’s real fun. You really enjoy it. I’m playing with very good players, and everybody here is a good person. They try to help me every day. We are practicing hard, we are working hard, and when you try to know how to play with each other, you start to feel better and you start to play better.”

- Korkmaz on adjusting to the NBA