NBA Playoffs: 3 X-Factor Sixers that could surprise us, 2 that could fall flat

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Now that we have recognized potential X-factors for the Philadelphia 76ers this upcoming postseason, let us turn our attention to two players who could fall short. First up, Georges Niang.

Georges Niang

Bang Bang Goerges Niang is an incredibly unique player that can electrify the Wells Fargo Center as no one else besides Joel Embiid can. The seventh-year NBA veteran has found his perfect fit in Philly and has the greenest light on the team the way he puts up shots. Niang’s main contribution when he is on the floor is stretching the defense to allow Embiid and other big men on the floor to operate more freely in the paint. His three-point shooting threat requires defenders to respect him on the offensive end of the floor.

Niang is shooting an average of 5 threes per game at a 39.7% success rate, which is second on the Sixers, behind only Tyrese Maxey (43.4%). As Niang is not the quickest NBA player, his quick shooting release is necessary and has worked to his advantage this season.

Currently, Niang is getting the 8th most playing minutes on the team and is usually one of the first players off the bench for Doc. This implies that Niang is likely going to be in the playoff rotation and so far this season he has earned that spot.

The larger issue is Niang is a defensive liability.

Think back to JJ Redick’s tenure with the Sixers. JJ was a much better shooter than Niang but was getting exposed every time down the floor on defense. His offensive shooting prowess required him to stay on the floor, but I think when it comes to Niang the negatives on defense likely outweigh the positives on offense. We will find out early on in the first-round series if Niang playing in the playoffs will last, but it is difficult to not be mildly concerned.