Furkan Korkmaz vs. Matisse Thybulle: A Battle for Wing Minutes
As I touched on in my previous article, the fight for backup wing minutes has basically come down to Matisse Thybulle and Furkan Korkmaz. In both preseason games, Furkan has had significantly better showings and more minutes played, and Matisse has unfortunately not looked comfortable. Each of these players has a glaring weakness, Furkan being a poor defender and Matisse being skittish and unreliable offensively, so which one do we think brings the most to the table without killing us on the other side of the ball?
Furkan Korkmaz, an enigma before our eyes, a man who was once the celebratory victory cigar, has now turned into a vital part of the 76ers rotation for this upcoming season. Korkmaz is coming off the final preseason game where he had 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists on 4/6 from beyond the arc. A very solid game from Furkan who has shown the ability to be a “bomber” (shout out Brett Brown). Even on a roster with Seth Curry and Danny Green, Korkmaz owns the role of “just the shooter”.
Given his size, surprisingly tall at 6’7, he is fairly nimble and has flashed drag dribles, behind the back passes, and fancy finishes but we all know Korkmaz’s game starts and ends with the deep ball. Jerky Furky finishes the preseason with a combined box score of 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists on 4/9 shooting from deep, in a total of 38 minutes played. These are solid numbers from Korkmaz, and he showed he can be a legitimate spark off the bench, and a lot of people forget that he is only 23 years old this season, still has a ton of upside.
The other side of this holds Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia’s son has looked uncomfortable with the ball in his hands, to say the least. In last night’s game, Thybulle did show out defensively and proved he can still make an impact on that side of the ball, and he looked to be getting his footing back on offense towards the end of the game.
As Doc mentioned post game, Matisse missed a good stretch of the early practices due to an ankle sprain in camp, so he is still catching up with everyone and the schemes put in place. There are a lot of expectations for this kid, deservedly so, and nobody expects him to become a great offensive player, but give him some time to get back into the swing of things before we all make hasty assumptions about his ability to play. Thybulle’s stat lines were not pretty, combining for 1 point, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Nothing here quite jumps off the page at you, but as we see Thybulle become more comfortable again and if he can keep up the defensive intensity, then I see him becoming attractive to the coaching staff as well.
To argue over who the 7th or 8th man on the bench will be is a great problem to have. With our current evidence, Furkan should get the nod at least for the start of the season to get the majority of the backup wing minutes, but I also see this being a game to game decision, and which player is fitting with the flow of the game better at the time.
Mandatory Credit: JOHN GELIEBTER/USA TODAY SPORTS