Philadelphia 76ers: Robert Covington named to first team All-Defense

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

After finishing out the season as the best defensive forward in basketball, Philadelphia 76ers wingman Robert Covington was named to the All-Defense team.

Even though their 2017-2018 NBA season is officially over, the awards keep coming in for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Less than a week after Section 215 gave out our superlatives for the Sixers’ 2018 season, the NBA quickly followed suit and named two of the team’s players to their All-Defense team.

While it’s no surprise that Joel Embiid was named to the NBA’s second team All-Defensive squad, as he’s one of the three finalists to win the Defensive Player of the Year award, one player who finally received the respect he deserved was fifth-year small forward Robert Covington.

Really, it’s about time.

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Even though Covington is far from a household name to the casual NBA fan, he’s quietly transformed from a college power forward, to the 2014 D-League Rookie of the Year, to arguably with best defensive small forward in the entire league.

And with Kawhi Leonard out of the running for a spot on the list after logging only 211 minutes of action over nine games this season, Covington finally received his chance to shine on the first team.

After finishing out the 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 NBA seasons as the best defensive forward in the league according to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus, Covington has received the recognition he deserves for his hard work, and say what you will, but he certainly did it the hard way.

Often tasked with covering opposing team’s best offensive player one-on-one point, from point guards to power forwards, Covington was often tasked with defending a player like James Harden one game, Kemba Walker the next, and Kristaps Porzingis the day after, and while he wasn’t perfect, he somehow kept a league-best 4.31 defensive score over a 147 game stretch.

Though some fans still express ill will towards RoCo for his struggles in the postseason, especially in the team’s Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Boston Celtics, the Sixers may not have even made the playoffs had it not been for their best Covington’s dirty work and 37 three-point percentage.

Next: Philadelphia 76ers 2017-2018 season superlatives

While it’s still hard to imagine waiting almost six more months for the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season, it’s nice to see the Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid and Robert Covington finally receive some positive accolades for doing the dirty work and playing Philly Tuff defense game in and game out.