Sixers need more from Robert Covington to truly compete in Eastern Conference

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Sixers would love to see Robert Covington elevate his game to a whole new level during the 2018-19 season to give the team a better chance of competing in the Eastern Conference.

Friday was an exciting night for the Sixers and their fans, as the team kicked off their preseason with an entertaining matchup against Melbourne United, a game in which Philadelphia ended up winning by 20 points.

Nothing against United, but from a talent perspective, it seemed pretty clear early on that Philadelphia would have their way since players like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would be too much for them to handle.

Not to mention, Markelle Fultz looked quite impressive in his first preseason action following a summer of working with a trainer to improve his shot, which seems to have paid off after seeing him connect on 6-of-11 shots against United.

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With that being said, as great as this trio of stars should be for Philadelphia during the upcoming season, if this team really wants to have a legitimate shot at being a top contender in the Eastern Conference, Robert Covington needs to figure out a way to step up at forward.

As Sixers fans remember, Covington was one of the most disappointing players from that playoff series against the Boston Celtics after scoring five points or less in four out of five games. Covington may not always be the biggest scorer, but seeing him struggle to connect on field goals the way he did put Philadelphia at a major disadvantage each game when taking on Boston.

In fact, there were even two games from that playoff series in which Covington failed to record a single field goal, showing once again just how much he was struggling in the shooting department.

Even on Friday during the team’s preseason meeting with United, the fact that Covington only finished with one point in 24 minutes while going 0-for-3 from the field makes it seem like the Sixers forward may be picking up where he left off last May.

Obviously, it’s tough to make that big of a deal over one preseason outing in a game where United was the opponent, but also when looking at the criticism Covington received last spring, Philadelphia fans would feel much better had he put together a decent performance.

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Maybe during Monday’s game against the Orlando Magic, Covington will show a little more life on offense to make Sixers fans feel much better about him before the regular season rolls around. Otherwise, Covington is going to see similar frustration from the fan base like he did during the playoffs when Philadelphia needed him the most.