By Annie Ross
Big Shot Bob Covington is back, and he may be back in the Sixers starting line-up as early as tonight in Boston.
After going 0-for-18 from 3-point land, Covington is 6-for-15 and seems to have found his stroke.
“I struggled to find my rhythm when I first got back,” Covington said. “But my teammates worked with me and found different ways to get me the ball so I could score.”
Sixers coach Brett Brown went into training camp expecting a breakout season from Covington, and Brown viewed his shooting forward as a piece to help with the scoring burden and open up the inside for Jahlil Okafor.
But then he hurt his knee.
In the two games that Covington scored big, Jahlil Okafor also posted strong offensive numbers. In Saturday’s loss in Miami, Okafor had 16 points on 20 shots with 11 rebounds, followed by 25 points on 15 shots with 12 rebounds in Minnesota.
Maybe it’s not a coincidence that Okafor has found some offensive scoring punch at the same time Covington found his legs.
“I suspect Robert will be coming into the starting lineup to give us a little more natural balance. He was out three weeks and went 0 for 18 on three-pointers and he’s an elite NBA shooter,” Brown said. “He had his breakout game and it’s a good reminder that when Tony Wroten and Kendall Marshall come back into this mix, they haven’t played for seven months. It takes time.
“Sometime soon Robert will be coming back into [the starting lineup].”
In Saturday’s loss in Miami, Covington found his stroke. He hit 3 of 6 on three-pointers and was 3 for 5 on two-pointers on his way to a season-high 21 points. Then Covington came off the bench to hit for 18 points on 6 for 14 shooting in 35 minutes during Monday’s 100-95 loss to the Timberwolves.
Down the stretch when the Sixers were trying to hold off the Timberwolves, Covington was floating around the perimeter looking to do some damage while big man Nerlens Noel was on the bench for the final 2:11.