Welcome back to our 3 Clips series, where we almost always have more or less than three clips, but usually never three. If this is the first time you’re checking it out, be sure to head over to our previous editions next: Shake Milton doing fun guards things on a basketball court and the three types of Matisse Thybulle steals. Today, we focus our attention on Furkan Korkmaz and three reasons he’s found success as a shooter this season.
No. 1: Dead Eye
Furkan Korkmaz is not bothered by strong closeouts. All he really needs is a good sense of his location on the court as it relates to the hoop and the slightest of glances at the rim. This is especially true of Korkmaz when shooting from the corners.
Korkmaz has long arms but he can shorten his shot when the situation calls for it, which is extremely helpful in punishing defenders that sag off even a little bit. Combining Korkmaz’s composure, quick trigger and proficiency from the corners, he can serve as a bailout option at times. And when he’s on point, it’s draining for opposing defenders. Just look at Derrick Rose’s body language after a really strong contest on the below shot from Korkmaz:
No 2. Off-ball Movement
If you watch a Sixers game from 2018-19 and one from 2019-20, one difference on offense that will stick out is that the former features a player (JJ Redick) tirelessly weaving in and out of screens, accumulating miles worth of running off-ball per game, and the latter doesn’t. But while Furkan Korkmaz doesn’t have the stamina and agility or even the size advantage of being small (as it pertains to using screens) of JJ Redick, Korkmaz has gotten pretty good at creating or finding space for himself as an off-ball shooter.
One way Korkmaz does this is by leveraging spatial awareness and fading into the peripheral while ensuring his teammates have a passing lane and notice him. He never gives up on a play in that if there’s open space and the possession isn’t literally over, he’s going to relocate with hands cocked.
Some of these movements may seem insignificant, but basketball is a game of angles and arcs. Moving into open space and creating an easy pass for a teammate to complete is one of the most effective ways of demanding the ball. Two steps left at just the right moment could be the difference between comfortably getting off a stable shot and having to shoot off-balance to avoid a contest.
It’s also important to know when not to move and instead be patient, and Korkmaz shows an ability to recognize defenses rotating onto his teammates and what that will inevitably mean for him (a wide open look). He’s displayed an appreciation for the small details like many other sharpshooters before him.
No 3. The Furky Fake
Korkmaz has crafted a very effective pump fake. Our Dave Early already detailed this in an article and explained how Kork can further weaponize the Furky Fake, so I’ll spare you the reading and instead post a few extra clips I collected of his oh-so-satisfying fake out.
Bonus: Ballin’ with Ben
Kork has had success with Ben Simmons replicating an action that Simmons and Redick frequently ran while the 3PT specialist was a Sixer. It involves the shooter ‘screening’ for Simmons as Simmons threatens to get downhill and drive the lane, only the shooter is rarely actually setting a pick for Simmons and instead is almost immediately slipping out beyond the perimeter for a wide open look.
Ben and Furkan didn't run this quick play a ton in the regular season, but they started looking for it a lot more in Jan. & Feb. Their chemistry really started clicking right before Ben's injury. pic.twitter.com/GxxeBzaC9q— Liberty Ballers (@Liberty_Ballers) July 27, 2020
As the tweet says, this action picked up more as the season went along. But I can actually pinpoint when and where the relationship between these two leveled up and Kork secured Ben’s trust. In the below clip, Kork buries a crucial 3PT off a Simmons assist in two consecutive offensive possessions. Simmons is fired up.
Before the game against the Nets referenced in the video above, Korkmaz averaged 8.0 points, shooting 37.1% from 3PT on 4.1 attempts per game. In the games following, he averaged 12.6 points, shooting 42.4% from 3PT on 6.3 attempts per game. The very next game following the win over the Nets from above, Korkmaz scored a then season- and career-high 24 points against the Chicago Bulls. Five of his 12 buckets in that game came off of Ben Simmons assists.