Robert Covington.

Robert Covington: From D-League afterthought to 3-and-D specialist for the 76ers

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When you look at the Philadelphia 76ers' roster, it's loaded with big-name players, from Joel Embiid to Ben Simmons to Markelle Fultz to J.J. Redick.

However, one of the team's best players is little-known wing man Robert Covington, who has quietly been having a great year for the young Sixers.

In Monday night's win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Covington scored an impressive 31 points while adding six rebounds, four assists and four steals. It was a great all-around effort for a team that improved to 7-6 with the win.

But, how did Covington get to the point where he is now a very important part of the Sixers' coveted "Process," you ask? It's been a long journey for the former Tennessee State player.

After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, Covington signed with the Houston Rockets but didn't get much playing time and was eventually assigned to the D-League (now the G-League). That's when he was released by the Rockets and scooped up by the 76ers.

Then, he spent more time in the D-League, dominating his opponents at the lower level before joining the Sixers' NBA squad in 2015.

Philadelphia 76ers v Toronto Raptors

Now, fresh off one of the best games of his career, Covington has become a solid three-and-D guy for Philly, shooting an impressive 50 percent from behind the three-point arc and often guarding opposing teams' best scorers.

If he keeps playing the way he's playing recently, he will earn himself a hefty raise with his next paycheck. For now, though, he'll try to keep gaining attention for himself while being overshadowed by Simmons, Embiid and others.

If he keeps putting up 31-point nights while playing great defense, he'll certainly get the attention he deserves sooner rather than later.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers

Even after Monday's win, in which he had a huge game, Covington was largely ignored, with even Redick discussing how good Embiid and Simmons are with

"They're two of the best players in the league already," Redick said. "They're both MVP-caliber players. They're fantastic and we're all along for the ride."

If he keeps playing the way he's playing, Covington could legitimately emerge as the Sixers' best player and have a chance to earn such praise from his teammates and media members alike.

Covington isn't exactly the star of the "Process," but his contributions to the Sixers can't be understated, as he's emerging as the real team MVP, even as Embiid and Simmons continue to draw praise from media members and teammates.

Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Robert Covington
NBA Playoffs
NBA Draft

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