The much improved Bench Mob has been key to the 76ers’ early season success
Last season, there was a lot of talk about the Bench Mob for the 76ers, but as we all saw that same Mob ended up being the kryptonite for Philly in the playoffs. This season, we still don’t want to see all bench lineups in the semi-finals of the playoffs, but this reserve group is a legitimate nightmare for opposing teams.
With two low-key additions in Georges Niang and Andre Drummond, they significantly upgraded at the backup PF and C positions. Niang has been incredible so far this season, easily becoming a fan favorite. He has been necessary in the recent run by the Sixers, and has stepped in nicely as a versatile piece on both sides of the ball. Niang will undoubtedly be a major part of this team this season, and I honestly hope he never leaves.
Andre Drummond, what a roller coaster it has been with this guy. We went from clowning him for years to just blatantly not caring about him at all, and now he is surprisingly a very good addition to this squad. From being a serviceable starter when Embiid misses games, to holding it down as the backup he is a serious part of this team’s success as of late. His presence allows the team to sit Embiid without worrying, and he has clearly bought into the team basketball that the Sixers are playing.
I have my own affinity for these guys, but Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle have been spectacular. Korkmaz’s growth on both ends of the ball has been a pleasure to watch throughout his years here, but I never thought I would see him become the main ball handler in an offense. Before last night’s game which he missed, he was 3rd in 4th quarter scoring, just think about that. Credit to Doc and that staff for letting him flourish in his own way.
Thybulle has shown strides in just finding ways to be impactful offensively, and with his extended minutes he has made life miserable for opposing teams. As my previous Sixer of the Week, Matisse has been capitalizing on his opportunities and really is an anomaly as a player. As needed, Thybulle has moved all the way up to 5th in terms of minutes per game for the Sixers, and his production has not dipped at all.
Shake Milton returned fairly quietly after his ankle injury, but has been sneakily putting up solid numbers. With all the excitement around the rest of the team, Milton has been kind of unnoticed, but his self creation adds another aspect to the second unit that they didn’t have before. Shake is set for a rebound seasons after some struggles in 2020-21, and so far he has been much more consistent.
The lineup of Milton-Korkmaz-Thybulle-Niang-Drummond is the 3rd most used lineup for the Sixers this season. As a group, they are +11.5 in their average of 24 minutes together per game, they have not only held leads but actually extended them in a handful of games. They rely heavily on team defense and ball movement, they have been a very fun group to watch and a necessary strength that has directly translated to wins.
|Drummond||18.1||6.3||9.4 (team leader)||2.6||0.0%||22.2|
|Niang||22.4||11.9 (career high)||2.8||1.8||41.8%||17.7|
|Thybulle||25.0||5.1 (career high)||2.2||1.3||31.6%||13.2|
|Korkmaz||21.3||10.9 (career high)||1.9||3.0||34.2%||18.4|
The 76ers have the night off before playing in Chicago tomorrow night against the Bulls.