2015-16 Sixers Roster Preview: Small Forward

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Apr 8, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (33) dribbles the ball past Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards won 119-90. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Covington

In my opinion, and the opinion of a vast majority of Sixers fans, Robert Covington will be getting the start at small forward this season. His past in Houston was rough, with too much talent to fit him in and give him significant minutes. As a Sixer, he meshes in much better, and was able to have a great first year on the team last season.

He averaged 13.5 points per game alongside 1.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds, a well rounded performance for a small forward. His three point shooting appears to be an asset, and he was shooting at 37% from beyond the arc last season.

His overall field goal percentage was good as well, but not differing much from his three point percentage, at 39%.

Covington started just 49 games last season, but by the looks of how the roster is shaping up this year, he will be getting more minutes. Last season, Covington didn’t consistently get over 30 minutes per game until after Christmas, and even then, his games with minutes surpassing 30 were spotty. Looking over his game logs, there’s a clear positive relationship between points and playing time for Covington.

This can be shown by his stats per 36 minutes, as he averaged 17.4 points per 36 last season. I would say that we could expect 30+ minutes for RoCo this year, and look for him to get above 15 points per game.

Some doubt Covington as being a truly good player. Perhaps this can be true, and a reason why he didn’t get playing time in Houston. Still, I find his skill set to be impressive, and I find him worthy of the starting position.

His ability to go up for lobs is impressive, as well.

Watching game tapes, it does seem like Covington has major problems getting involved on offense. Defensively, he’s pretty good, and if you watch him off the ball, he’s great at shutting down his assignments, but on offense, he often seems to be absent.

Last season, Covington watched a lot, even on the floor, as Noel took over a lot of the team’s offensive strain. This year, that could be even worse with two big men expected to do a lot.

His starting spot was one he had to prove himself for. Last year appeared to be a trial run with Covington as small forward, and he got the job done well enough to be the starter in my mind.

Next: Reserves