Rob Covington’s Comfort as a Shooter is Helping MCW


When the Philadelphia 76ers put pen to paper and inked D-League Rookie of the Year Robert Covington to a four-year deal, most probably did not know what to expect. “Who is this guy,” was probably something that most fans echoed. However, after 11 games with the 76ers, one would be hard pressed to find a 76ers fan that doesn’t know who Covington is. The man is becoming a fan favorite, overtaking K.J. McDaniels in that category in a season structured on development.

Call him “Big Shot Bob” or the owner of “Bob’s Buckets,” whatever it is, Covington is catching on with both the fans and the ownership in Philly. Covington is averaging 29.3 minutes per game in the past three games, both victories for the 76ers. He’s recorded a career-high (21 pts vs. OKC) and then dropped another career-high the next night (25 pts vs. Detroit). It’s more than coincidence at this point. The Illinois native can flat out shoot the rock, something the 76ers have been void of since, well it seems like forever at this point.

The 6’9″ forward has found his comfort on the wing sniping in shots from beyond. He’s shooting 58.6 percent on catch-and-shoot jumpers from three-point range, which account for almost 40 percent of his three-point attempts. Overall, Covington is shooting 53.1 percent from three or 17-of-32. That percentage would have him as the third best three-point shooter in the league, behind only Kyle Korver of the ATL Hawks and Rasual Butler (lol) of the Wizards.

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However, Covington doesn’t yet qualify because of the small sample size. Not to worry, with the way he’s been shooting the rock, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be up there as one of the best from range when the attempts qualify. Bradley Beal is 19-of-49 from beyond and qualifies according to, so Covington should qualify in the next few games.

Covington has been shooting most of his triples from the “above-the-break” area, which is definied as the top of the three-point line. The former D-Leaguer has shot 12-of-25 from three-point range there, a cool 48 percent. Even more impressive — even if suffering from a small sample size — is the fact that Covington is shooting 83 percent from the left corner three. Besides just the shooting from beyond, Covington is also converting on 61.5 percent of attempts in the restricted area. He’s been an above average player from all angles on offense and is helping one of the most important pieces the 76ers have.

He’s recorded a career-high (21 pts vs. OKC) and then dropped another career-high the next night (25 pts vs. Detroit). It’s more than coincidence at this point.

The growth of Robert Covington has also benefited Michael Carter-Williams, who has been on fire the past few games. Ever since his first triple-double of the season on November 29, MCW has been averaging 19.6 points, 12.2 assists, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals, shooting 43 percent from the field in the past five games. It’s a fact that MCW has been excelling and improving every game, much like Covington. Possibly not a surprise that the two have gelled together when Covington’s minutes have been expanding.

With this being said, it should be no surprise that Covington is shooting 61.5 percent from three on passes received from Michael Carter-Williams. Consequently, Covington passes the ball to MCW 38.9 percent of the time, by far his highest mark on the team. The chemistry between the two is obvious and will continue to grow with more playing time.

The return of Tony Wroten into the 76ers lineup on Wednesday will be something to watch. I don’t have to grab statistics to say that an MCW-Wroten back court is…not good. Carter-Williams has excelled without Wroten and with extra playing time given to Covington. Even though Wroten plays guard and Covington is a forward, the lack of guards has forced Brett Brown to play 3-to-5 forwards on the court at any given time. The return of Wroten could cut into Covington’s minutes.

As the 76ers embark on another week of basketball, keeping an eye on the budding on-court relationship between Robert Covington and Michael Carter-Williams will be important.