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Rotation Trust Level: Scrappy bench effort saves perfect road trip

We dissect the rotation from this past week, including the Sixers putting together a comeback win over the Kings without Joel Embiid and James Harden.

Philadelphia 76ers v Sacramento Kings Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Don’t look now but the Philadelphia 76ers are... hot? Since their 12-12 start, the team is 18-4, soaring up the Eastern Conference standings to the No. 2 seed. The team’s latest run, a 5-0 road trip out on the West Coast, was capped off by a 21-point comeback to snap the Sacramento Kings’ six-game winning streak. They managed said comeback with Joel Embiid and James Harden taking the night off due to injury management.

With head coach Doc Rivers doing some mid-season tinkering with the starting lineup, it’s time to take another look at the Sixers rotation and ask, how much do you trust them at this point in the season?

Georges Niang

Weekly stats: 3 games, 63 minutes played, 9 of 15 3PM, 61 percent from the field.

After struggling from outside to start the new year, the Minivan has gotten back into a rhythm from three. Despite starting the West Coast trip with an illness, Niang showed up in several clutch moments during the road trip. In both the Clippers and Trail Blazers games, it was three balls from Niang that got the Sixers moving out of their third-quarter lulls.

Niang’s three-point shooting isn’t a surprise, but his ability to get his own shot every once in a while off the dribble has been this season. His shot creation isn’t going to be something this team will rely on in May, but it is something that’s stood out in these shorthanded games.

Poll

How much trust do you have in Georges Niang?

  • 5%
    Little to none
    (18 votes)
  • 38%
    Eh, we’ll see come April
    (139 votes)
  • 56%
    A lot
    (200 votes)
357 votes total Vote Now

Matisse Thybulle

Weekly stats: 3 games, 28 minutes played, 4 points, 1-5 FG, 2 blocks, 2 steals

A pretty ordinary week for Thybulle as he was only used as a defensive specialist, hardly playing in Tuesday’s win against the Clippers. He was fairly invisible until he nearly sent the Kings game to overtime when he fouled Harrison Barnes with only a few seconds left. Thybulle did put in some solid minutes during the Blazers game, recording four stocks.

Poll

How much trust do you have in Matisse Thybulle?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Little to none
    (58 votes)
  • 48%
    Eh, we’ll see come April
    (90 votes)
  • 19%
    A lot
    (36 votes)
184 votes total Vote Now

Montrezl Harrell

Weekly Stats: 3 games, 60 minutes played, 25 points, 10-13 FG

I thought Harrell’s performance against the Clippers would finally be what gets Paul Reed back into the regular rotation. Harrell wasn’t able to offer any resistance at the rim, and his brutal second quarter stretch was capped off by Paul George ripping the ball out of his hands for an easy fast break.

Still, Harrell continued to get the backup minutes in Portland and started in Embiid’s absence in Sacramento. He gave Philly good energy minutes against the Kings, scoring 17 points and pulling down seven rebounds, five of which were offensive rebounds.

Poll

How much trust do you have in Montrezl Harrell?

  • 61%
    Little to none
    (241 votes)
  • 31%
    Eh, we’ll see come April
    (121 votes)
  • 6%
    A lot
    (27 votes)
389 votes total Vote Now

Shake Milton

Weekly Stats: 3 games, 60 minutes played, 29 points, 10-22 FG

It was a quiet start to the trip for Milton, but he was huge in the last two wins for the Sixers. The Portland game was an example of how he’s been able to make himself useful since the other ballhandlers have returned to the lineup. He had a complementary 10 points on 4-7 shooting. And as he has all season, he stepped up when he was tasked with a heavier scoring load in Sacramento. Milton had 11 second-half points in the comeback win.

Poll

How much trust do you have in Shake Milton?

  • 1%
    Little to none
    (3 votes)
  • 26%
    Eh, we’ll see come April
    (55 votes)
  • 71%
    A lot
    (149 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now

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