4 takeaways from Buddy Hield's first month as a 76er

Buddy Hield has excelled in his first month as a Sixer while flashing skills that go beyond his scouting report. Hield can turbocharge the Sixers offense while also complementing Joel Embiid.

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages
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Hield’s presence will reduce the pressure on Tobias Harris

Buddy Hield, Seth Curry
Charlotte Hornets v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

It is no secret that Tobias Harris has had trouble living up to expectations in Philadelphia. Harris is a “fine” player, but the team is paying him to be a superstar. That’s obviously not entirely Harris’ fault, but he still needs to be better for the team to reach its full potential.

Part of the problem Harris is having could be due to pressure. Sometimes, players tend to “press” when they are under pressure, which just makes them struggle more. Think about how it is common for MLB hitters to go into a slump just before they reach a key milestone.

In this case, Hield can take pressure off of Harris by stepping up as another 20ppg scorer who can hit big shots in key moments. Hield seems to have a clutch gene, and he is an absolute sniper from long range.

Hield’s floor spacing will benefit the entire roster

Buddy Hield, Donte DiVincenzo
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

While Maxey has been a clear early beneficiary of Hield’s gravity on offense, he is far from the only player who is benefiting. Although the results haven’t always been there, Hield’s spacing gives guys like Paul Reed and Mo Bamba more room to operate in the post. 

When Philly's MVP center returns, that impact will be felt. The duo of Embiid and Hield and their respective gravity in opposite directions will stretch defenses beyond their limits. The two of them working together will put defenders in a nightmare scenario with no correct answer.

The sharpshooter has an underrated driving game

Buddy Hield
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Buddy Hield is known as a shooter first, second and third. He had shown dynamic playmaking ability at Oklahoma and was viewed as having the potential to be a combo guard coming out of college. Once he got to the league, however, his creation skills took a back seat and his shooting has become the story of his career. This isn't surprising, as shooting was always his calling card.

However, while he certainly lived up to his potential as a shooter, his playmaking has been underrated. That doesn't mean it's not there, though. Hield still has the ability to create his own looks. He is particularly effective at using the respect opponents give his shooting ability and leveraging that to get to the rim.

themSome great shooters seem to only be able to shoot the ball. They might be amazing shooters, but if you ask them to dribble in a straight line, there's a good chance they'll dribble it off their foot. There are other great shooters who can see the defenders flying out at them and use the opponent’s momentum against him, dribbling by and attacking the rim. The new Sixers guard is the second type of player, but he can be even more than that.

Hield might not have elite handles, but he is above average in that part of his game. He has a crossover he can go to and an occasional spin move. He can change speed and knows how to use his body to create space. This allows him to create value for the team in ways that other players who are known as pure shooters cannot always do.

While Hield might not be the best player at creating out of the triple threat, he can do it in a pinch. His real value besides shooting is getting past overzealous defenders and creating for himself or others. In that way, Hield can serve as a secondary creator outside of Maxey and Embiid.