Georges Niang Leading Eastern Conference in Noteworthy Shooting Stat

Georges Niang, Sixers

Getty Georges Niang #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Orlando Magic during the fourth quarter at Amway Center on November 25, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.

The string of injuries has put the Philadelphia 76ers in a difficult spot at this early stage of the season. However, this has also provided a few players with an extended opportunity which many are making the most of. One of the guys near the top of this list is Georges Niang. ‘The Minivan’ has been cruising through the start of this season and was vital to the Sixers’ victory over the Magic. Niang ended with 18 points and shot 5-7 from beyond the arc in the matchup.

This strong shooting performance put him on the NBA map as well. Per Sixers Stats, Niang now leads the Eastern Conference in three-pointers off the bench. He hit one more after the initial tweet was sent so his total is up to 47 on the season.

Niang’s Elite Trash-Talk

In addition to his shooting ability, Niang has proven to be elite in another category as well. The Boston native made it clear early in his Sixers tenure that he was not afraid to let the opponents hear about it when his shots are falling. Niang has been known to get into his fair share of dust-ups and fills this necessary role on the Sixers.

This proved to be true against the Magic as Niang let his lips fly throughout the matchup. After a controversial foul call to send Bol Bol to the line with under a minute left in the game, Niang was picked up by a hot microphone under the basket. Following the first missed free throw, the Iowa State product loudly declared “Give the people free chicken nuggets,” in a nod to the Sixers’ Bricken for Chicken promotion. While this does not apply in Orlando, the mind games still are effective.

This also comes just three days after going toe-to-toe with Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons in the matchup with the Nets. Niang ended that game with 16 points and five rebounds while shooting 4-5 from beyond the three-point arc in this victory. He made sure to let both Nets stars hear about every made basket.

Niang’s Role Within Sixers

While the extracurriculars are fun and worth noting, it is Niang’s on-court play that is truly deserving the praise. Following the Magic game, he is now averaging 10.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. He also is connecting on three-pointers at a 46.1% rate while launching 5.4 three-pointers per game. Beyond just the quantity of three-pointers, Niang’s three-point percentage ranks 13th across the entire NBA.

He has been given an extended opportunity right now due to the injuries, but this should not overshadow his importance when the Sixers are fully healthy. Surrounding Joel Embiid and James Harden with shooters is vital to the Sixers’ spacing. Niang more than checks this box and is the most willing shooter on the roster.

Looking at the per 36 numbers on the Sixers, Niang leads the pack in a major way. The forward is launching 9.8 three-pointers per 36 minutes so far this season. De’Anthony Melton is a distant second by attempting 6.8 three-pointers with Tyrese Maxey narrowly behind him with 6.7 long-range attempts per 36 minutes. Pairing this quick trigger with the most efficient shooting on the roster is a dangerous combination on the court.

While Niang may have his weaknesses on the defensive end, his offensive ability is vital to the Sixers’ success and he can be counted on to compete on an every-play basis. He has been one of the best under-the-radar additions since Daryl Morey took control of the Sixers’ roster decisions. Hopefully, this string of strong play continues and the Minivan keeps rolling as Philadelphia navigates this tough stretch.

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