With the NBA playoffs being mere weeks away, the Philadelphia 76ers will have to decide who should be in the playoff rotation and who should be on the bench. One player whose role could be up in the air is Georges Niang. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer explained why Niang is useful, but also why playing him could be trouble in the playoffs.
“You need shooters on the floor to play off James Harden and Joel Embiid in the pick-and-roll, and Niang is the team’s best shooter,” Pompey said. “He does need to improve his defense, as opposing teams will attack him over and over again in the postseason. So Niang’s minutes will be cut if he doesn’t show improvement. But the Sixers don’t have a big on the roster that can stretch the floor like Niang coming off the bench.”
Pompey then used some of Niang’s performances against some of Philadelphia’s opponents to explain why his shooting could be important but reiterated the importance of Niang improving defensively.
“He’s made a habit of torching the Bucks and the New York Knicks. And he showed his value by draining four three-pointers against the Mavs Wednesday night. Again, Niang must display defensive improvement to remain on the floor this postseason.”
This season, Niang is averaging 8.2 points a game, which can be attributed to him hitting 2.8 threes in 19.4 minutes a game and shooting 40.1% from three.
Georges Niang Believes Sixers are ‘Clicking on All Cylinders’
After the Sixers beat the Dallas Mavericks, Niang spoke with NBC Sports Philadelphia where he talked about how the atmosphere made it feel like they were playing in the postseason.
“That felt so good, we started off a little sluggish coming off a long road trip like we did, you expected that, but for us to find some fight at halftime to come out and close this thing the right way, the energy in this place was unreal, it was like the playoffs started today,” Niang said.
Niang added that the Sixers playing as well as they have as the season winds down not only feels great but also shows what the Sixers are capable of.
“When you can get everyone clicking on all cylinders, especially towards the end of the season, it’s a really good feeling, and I think we’re showing glimpses of who we can beat moving forward.”
Pompey Previews Sixers’ Playoff Rotation
In his mailbag, Pompey said that the Sixers may have shown a preview of what they will do with their playoff rotation in their game against the Mavericks.
“I think we saw a sneak peek of the Sixers’ playoff rotation against the Mavs. Tobias Harris, P.J. Tucker, Tyrese Maxey, Embiid, and Harden were the starters. De’Anthony Melton was the first player off the bench, followed by Niang, (Jalen) McDaniels, Paul Reed, and (Danuel) House, who only played four seconds,” Pompey said.
Pompey reiterated that Niang’s role will depend on his three-point shooting and defense.
“Melton and McDaniels are locks to be in the rotation. How long Niang plays will depend on his ability to make shots and defend.”