Robert Covington is arguably Philly’s biggest scapegoat. He gets booed by the fans if he misses a three, despite him shooting 42% from deep so far in this young season. His lack of awareness on the court from time to time gets fans frustrated. Along with that, his shot selection might not be the greatest, often taking contested threes which somehow seem to be the ones that go through the net more often than the open ones. Why is RoCo the guy that often gets blamed? He shouldn’t be, he’s the definition of blue-collar when it comes to the basketball world coming from Tennessee State, and the developmental league to find his way into the starting lineup for a playoff team in the Eastern Conference. He does all of the dirty work: deflections, steals, blocks, tight defense and is always hustling on the floor.
13.3 PPG, 6 RPG, 42.7% from three, almost two steals and two blocks per game along with a first-team all defense ability. Wouldn’t every NBA franchise like a player like this? People that aren’t hardcore analytics fans or really grasp the game of basketball do not see all of the success that Covington is having and how it is so integral to the team. Saturday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets is a perfect example of Covington’s “underrated” success. RoCo swished a three pointer to put the 76ers up 105-101 with 1:40 to go, giving him 18 points on his fourth three pointer of the game. With the same score with 44 seconds to go, Joel Embiid left his man Cody Zeller who looked to have a wide open dunk with Kemba Walker driving the lane. Covington came from the weak side for a clean swat, preventing the game from getting down to a one possession deficit. On top of that, Covington was guarding Kemba Walker all night, who shot 11/31 which is much lower than his average field goal percentage.
Covington recognizes that not every single basketball fan is going to get what he does for the 76ers on a nightly basis. “From the outside looking in, a lot of people don’t understand what all goes into it. You can’t get caught up in that. The people who understand the way the game is and how everything goes can get a better feel for it, how everything happens. You just can’t get caught in what they’re saying, you just have to focus in”. If you are a casual fan who watches the 76ers or just the NBA in general, focus on Robert for five minutes of game time. Look and see all of the activity he takes part in on both sides of the court. As his Instagram handle shows (@atf_33), Robert is allergic to failure, and will continue to put in that work to be an impactful member of the basketball team for the City of Brotherly Love.