It was just a matter of time.
Robert Covington knocked down 167 shots from beyond the arc last season for the 76ers. He was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise gloomy season.
In 2015-16, the frustration has mounted with 15 consecutive losses and 25 straight dating to the end of last season.
Already dealing with some nagging injuries, Covington also dealt with a major shooting slump. He missed 18 straight 3-pointers and looked like a shooter who hadn’t played much.
Ever so slowly, Covington has found his rhythm, going 6-for-15 from 3-point territory after the 0-for-18 start.
The Sixers continue to lose and have dropped the first three games on this six-game road trip. But at least Covington has started to slow glimpses of his old shooting form. At some point, he’s likely to get hot and carry the Sixers to that elusive win.
“It’s still going to take some time,” Covington said in a near-empty locker room after a loss to the Indiana Pacers last week. “I’ve only played two games since my injury and it’s going to take a little time to get back to where I was and in playing shape. But it’s just a matter of time. This road trip will help me out because I’ll get more minutes under my belt and that will help me get my rhythm back.”
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Before the road trip began in Charlotte, Covington missed all nine 3-pointers against the Dallas Mavericks and Pacers.
“Robert hasn’t played and he’s trying to force things,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “Everybody is trying to force things and probably trying to do too much.”
Losing this many games has to be difficult to stomach.
“It’s definitely hard, but being one of the one of the oldest active players on this team, I’m working to keep us together,” Covington said. “It has been tough losing so many games. A lot of guys aren’t used to it.”
With such a young team – the Sixers feature one of the youngest rosters in league history – Covington has been asked to be a team leader at the age of 24.
“Coach talks to me a lot about that and he tells me this is going to be my team and I need to take on a leadership role,” Covington said. “I’ve been in plenty of leadership roles and I’m trying to do the right thing and lead by example.”
Keep in mind that this is an undrafted player leading by example for a team mired in losing. Covington embraces the challenge and is looking forward to better days ahead.
“Sure, it’s tough,” Covington said. “I’m confident in my ability. I know the shots will fall. We’ll get there as a team. It’s going to take time. Anything I can do, I’m going to be that leader that they’re asking for.”