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With the Philadelphia 76ers now a little over two full months into the 2021-22 season, there is enough of a sample size to really get a general gauge on each individual player to have an idea of what they can really be.
The Sixers have had some ups and downs, namely in the injury and COVID-19 departments, but there have been some flashes of good potential. While Joel Embiid is still a dominant big man and one of the best players in the league, they have also gotten some good play out of Tyrese Maxey and Seth Curry as well.
There are some issues that need to be fixed, but the Sixers have plenty of time to figure things out before the playoffs begin in April.
With that said, here is a thought on each player two months into the season:
The big fella got off to a weird start to the season as he was looking to be more of a passer than anything and then he was hit with COVID in November, but he has begun to get back to being a ruthless scorer. He averaged 29.2 points on 49.6% shooting in the month of December while still averaging 11.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
For the Sixers to have any success in 2022, they will need Embiid to be the player he was in December. He has got to be that ruthless scorer who will take over at any moment to ensure Philadelphia comes away victorious more often than not. They do not have much of a shot if he is not being that leader on the floor.
Harris is averaging 18.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists on the season which are solid numbers on paper, but his efficiency is still way down compared to the 2020-21 season. His field goal percentage has dipped from 51.2% down to 45.2% while his 3-point percentage has gone from 39.4% down to 29.6% which is the biggest number to watch.
Harris did record his first career triple-double in December which is always a good thing, but he has got to find his efficiency again on the offensive end. The Sixers need him to start knocking down these open looks from deep again as he did in the previous season.
Maxey had a weird December as he is still looking to find his role next to Embiid and be aggressive even with the big fella out there. He averaged 14.4 points in the month compared to 19.4 points in November. He did have an encouraging game to end the month against the Brooklyn Nets so the Sixers will take that and hope to build off of it.
On one hand, Maxey’s big November comes from not having Embiid out on the floor, but in order for Philadelphia to move forward, they will need him to be able to find his offensive groove and aggression with the big fella out there. The Sixers have to grow that pairing to move forward.
Curry is having a career season averaging a career-high 16.1 points to go along with 3.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds, He shot 39.4% from deep in December and he also averaged 5.2 assists in the month. The Sixers have continued to put the ball in his hands and be a secondary playmaker which is a good development moving forward.
The Sixers will need Curry to be that 3-point marksman next to Embiid, but if he can continue to make plays with the pass, it would be huge. With Ben Simmons still out, the Sixers have been searching for more playmakers and Curry looks to be that guy to step up to the challenge.
Green has only played 24 games on the season as he has been hit with a variety of injuries and now COVID issues as he looks to finally find a rhythm on the season. He is still shooting 37.4% from deep on the season so he is continuing to make an impact on this team as they find a groove on the offensive end when he is out there.
He has been coming off the bench lately as the Sixers give Matisse Thybulle a look, but it might serve them better to have Green in the starting lineup. Green’s shooting on the offensive end opens up a lot more spacing on that end in order for Philadelphia to have success with Embiid down low.
Thybulle is something else on the defensive end. The way this guy just puts the opposition’s best scorer in a torture chamber is just something to behold. Even against guys like Kevin Durant, Thybulle is making life tough on them and it’s a joy to watch. He did only shoot 23.7% from deep in December, though, and that’s something that has to change in order to become a regular starter.
What a steal this guy has been in free agency. While he still has moments that make you scratch your head from time to time, Drummond has been an absolute steal on a veteran’s minimum deal. He’s averaging 11.3 points and 17.2 rebounds per 36 minutes off the bench and has been a terrific backup to Embiid and an excellent spot starter when Embiid can’t go.
Milton has been dealing with COVID recently following an ankle injury to begin the season, but on the season overall, he has been a good source of offense off the bench. He is averaging 10.7 points and 2.8 assists, but he could be more efficient as he is shooting just 43.3% from the floor and just 31.6% from deep.
Niang has been another really solid addition to this team from free agency. He is averaging a career-high 10.5 points and he is shooting 40% from deep. He has been a huge spark to this team off the bench and he has been a good source of offense and somebody who can do the little things.
Korkmaz had himself a pretty miserable month of December where he averaged only 5.8 points and he shot just 18.2% from deep in the month. It was a long slump for him and he has got to break out of it fully. He showed flashes towards the end of the month, but he still needs to be able to push through and get back on a good streak for them.
Johnson only played three games before entering the health and safety protocols after signing a 10-day, but he has been pretty solid in those three games. He brings toughness and grit to this team on both ends of the floor and he is a guy who brings a lot of confidence. Maybe he can stick around a bit more on this team.
Bassey has had some really good moments as a rookie so far. He has a soft touch around the rim on the offensive end and he has a knack for coming over and blocking shots from the weak side. He does foul a bit too much, but that will improve over time. He has proven he can be a solid player.
Reed still needs to be able to develop a sense of what to do in certain situations, but the potential is there. He will probably still need more time in the G League in order to fully develop his game as well as his basketball IQ, but there is some potential there.
After such a hot preseason, it has been disappointing to not see it translate to the regular season, but Joe can still be a regular rotation player. He has been pretty solid on the defensive end on the perimeter, but he has got to find his shot again. He shot only 26.3% from deep in the month of December as he was not able to take advantage of his few opportunities.