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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers: Robert Covington looks to have break out year

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The Philadelphia 76ers have a lot of talent on their team with all the high draft picks that they have picked in the recent years but what about the role players on their team?

One player that comes to mind is Robert Covington. Covington has taken the Philadelphia fans worst because of his play on the court early in the season last year but he was resilient all season.

Covington knows where he has come from in terms of his basketball history and has created a name for himself in the league.

Covington wasn’t drafted in the 2013 NBA draft. Instead he went the undrafted free agent route and signed a muti-year deal with the Houston Rockets. Then Covington was both assigned and recalled from G-League team Rio Grande Valley Vipers a total of 12 times. Even though he was assigned and recalled so many times Covington was still named G-League rookie of the year.

Then on Oct. 27, 2014 Covington was waived by the Houston Rockets. Then the Philadelphia 76ers signed him to a contract Nov. 15, 2014.

Covington hasn’t seen the G-League again and has earned a starting spot on the Sixers. His first year with the team he averaged, which is a career high for him still to this day, 13.5 points a game. Covington has made a name known for himself with his defensive skills and his ability to shoot the three. In fact Covington finished fourth in the defensive player of the year voting. Kawhi Leonard was third, Rudy Gobert was second and Draymond Green won the trophy. Also he was in the top 20 in the all defensive team voting.

Covington is earning respect throughout the league with his hard nose defense. Last season though his offense struggled in the beginning of the year. In the first 28 games of the season he only shot 35 percent from the field and 28 percent from the three-point line. Then in December 9, 2016 he missed all 11 shots from the field, including seven three-pointers. Things looked bad for Covington.

The resilient Covington came through for the Sixers in two games in January. The first one was in January 3rd against the Minnesota Timberwolves when there was one second and some change on the clock and Ricky Rubio just hit a three pointer to tie the game. Everybody thought the game would be going into overtime. Dario Saric was inbounding the ball. Covington went around a screen and caught the overhead pass by Saric to score a layup in the final seconds to win the game for the Sixers. Covington saved the day for the Sixers and the bad games were forgiven.

Covington followed up the closing act 17 days later against the Portland Trailblazers when after he hit the three to close the gap to one, he came back on the next possession to give the Sixers the lead with 4.5 to go after hitting another three. Those two threes were enough to give the Sixers the win.

Covington has been seen in the gym working on creating his own shot. He has been more of a spot up shooter but adding that element into his game will put the ball in his hands more. Also, it will make him more of a complete offensive threat. Especially during those late game stretches where he has proved that he can win games for you.

Covington is an undrafted free agent, as said before, so he will always have a chip on his shoulder. Covington is looking at a big pay day from the Sixers this year and it is well earned. From being a G-League player to now starting for an NBA franchise, Covington has been able to live the dream of millions of people in the world and proven by his resiliency he hasn’t taken it for granted.

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