Who’s Hot? Robert Covington, F, Philadelphia 76ers
The Numbers: 46 points, 15/26 FG, 11/17 3FG, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals in last two games
An injury to his shooting elbow appeared to have stalled Covington’s second pro season, which has taken him from 2014 NBA D-League Rookie of the Year, All-Star Game MVP and No. 1 draft pick to NBA Rising Star in the span of a a few months.
But it’s safe to say his right arm is feeling good again: On Wednesday in Denver, he became the first Sixer since Kyle Korver in December 2005 to make five or more three-pointers in back-to-back games.
Covington, who was called up from the Grand Rapids Drive before playing an NBA D-League game this season, also scored 20+ points in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season. He now ranks 10th in the NBA in threes made (144 in 60 games) after finishing fourth in the NBA D-League in last season (134 in 42 games).
“I watch a lot of their games. He covers so much ground on the help side. People try to throw passes over him and he just grabs them. He’s so long and he’s really high IQ so he anticipates really well. He sees plays develop. I think playing the 3 allows him to take some more gambles.
“He always had the offensive side. He’s playing more within himself than he was at the beginning of the year, when he was trying to make more plays off the bounce. Now, he’s making shots and he’s getting closed out a little bit harder so he’s ripping by and getting past closeouts — doing all the stuff he was doing for us.”
— Rio Grande Valley Vipers head coach Nevada Smith
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