Sixers’ Georges Niang Speaks On Altercation With Ben Simmons

Georges Niang, Sixers

Getty Georges Niang #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts in front of Royce O'Neale #00 of the Brooklyn Nets in the third quarter of the game at the Wells Fargo Center on November 22, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Nets 115-106.

There was plenty to like surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers’ recent victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The shorthanded squad competed on both sides of the floor and managed to pull off the surprising victory to spoil Ben Simmons’ homecoming in Philadelphia. One player who was crucial to the Sixers’ success was Georges Niang. The scrappy forward finished the matchup with 16 points, five rebounds, two assists, and a block. He shot 6-11 from the field and 4-5 from beyond the three-point arc on the night.

In addition to his production on the stat sheet, Niang made his impact felt with his energy which has become a theme. The Minivan did not hesitate to talk his usual trash and also was called for a flagrant foul after a small shove of Simmons.

This was not the end of the altercation as Niang got right back to talking his trash in Simmons’ ear after he took his two free throws. The Iowa State product was asked about the altercation following the matchup. Niang downplayed the interaction and stated, “I think it was just a regular basketball thing. We ran into each other. They thought it was more than that and it is what it is. It’s unfortunate, but move on and continue to fight for another day,” per Ky Carlin of SixersWire.

Niang’s Other Trash Talk

The dust-up with Simmons was not the only extracurricular activity Niang engaged in during the matchup. The Minivan was also seen letting Kevin Durant hear it after scoring in the paint on the former MVP.

Durant seemed to enjoy the banter and had no problem going back at him. The Nets star ended the game with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. It was not enough to get the victory as the Sixers managed to secure the win. Niang may not have gotten the upper hand in the individual matchup but did more than enough to help the team and was crucial to the Sixers’ win.

Niang’s Impressive Season

The matchup may have been the most notable performance of the season for the 29-year-old but it should be noted what a strong year he is having overall. Through the opening 17 games of the season, Niang is averaging 9.7 points which is a career-high for the forward. He is shooting 44.8% on three-point attempts while launching 5.1 attempts per game while having the highest two-point percentage of his career.

The Minivan has fully embraced his team-first mentality and stated following the win, “I think the biggest thing for me is just coming in and doing my job. Being good defensively, moving the ball, making the right play, and being that constant coming off the bench. I think that’s my role and I try to excel in that every night,” per Ky Carlin of SixersWire.

Niang is tied with Tobias Harris for third on the Sixers on three-point attempts at 5.1 per game this season. They trail only Tyrese Maxey and James Harden for most attempts. However, when looking at the per 36 numbers Niang leads the way by a major margin as he averaged 9.4 three-point attempts per 36 minutes. Maxey is next up in this category with 6.7 long-range attempts per 36 minutes.

While he is not without his weaknesses, Niang has been a terrific addition to this Sixers team. He has a lightning-quick release and is ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. This quick trigger and effective shooting make him a terrific pairing alongside Harden and Embiid. Niang has proven to be relied to leave it all on the court every night and has been a seamless fit in Philadelphia during his season and a half with the team.

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