76ers final month stock watch: 2 surprising risers, 2 fallers

As the Philadelphia 76ers head into the final stretch of the season, here are two players on the rise and a couple on a decline.

76ers, Paul Reed
76ers, Paul Reed / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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Faller 2: Buddy Hield has cooled off after a hot start with the 76ers

Easily the best trade deadline acquisition in the NBA this season, Buddy Hield arrived in Philadelphia already in his peak form, scoring at least 20 points in his first four games with the team before the All-Star break. But after the interstice, the veteran sharpshooter has mellowed down on the scoring department, logging just 12 points and 3.7 assists per contest.

Hield’s bread and butter, his volume three-point shooting, has remained intact (40.3 percent on 7.2 attempts per game) despite his more timid scoring output, but the 76ers badly need him to assume a bigger load offensively and be on the hunt whenever he’s on the floor. After all, his shooting keeps the defense constantly on its toes, and his presence alone conjures much-needed gravity to give the offense more legroom to be aggressive.

Buddy’s play will be instrumental as Philadelphia aims to mount a firmer grip on a guaranteed playoff spot or even homecourt advantage in the first-round of the playoffs. But more than that, his performance in the final stretch of the season could very well be indicative on his future with the team as he approaches free agency.

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