Analyzing ceilings, floors for Sixers star trio for 2022-23 season


5ed30fda7ca7568c8bdcfbd5589aab96

As the Philadelphia 76ers head into the 2022-23 season, the focus will be making sure Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey are all on the same page. Those three are hugely important to Philadelphia’s success, and they will determine how far the Sixers go.

With training camp beginning on Sept. 27 in Charleston, South Carolina, now is the time to look at the possible ceilings and floors of the team’s star trio as they move forward for the 2022-23 season.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley placed a ceiling and a floor for Embiid, Harden and Maxey, so now is the time to analyze them:

Joel Embiid- ceiling

787b65bc2a833b8fd06cb9f5c558dbfe

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Buckley sees Embiid’s ceiling as both regular season MVP and finals MVP. The big fella has come up short in the MVP voting to Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic in each of the last two seasons and that has to add fuel to his fire for the 2022-23 season.

Buckley on Embiid:

There isn’t much room to grow his numbers at this point — beyond making more appearances — but the significance of those stats could rise if the Sixers soar around him. If he can steer a championship run, look for him to collect both MVP and Finals MVP honors.

Joel Embiid – floor

34b8e37d5ab37078286f03c120f449ef

Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The floor for Embiid is pretty easy to figure out as Buckley puts it: He misses too many games to factor into the MVP race and it derails Philadelphia’s season. The big fella has not yet played 70 games in a season. While the majority of his injuries are freak accidents, it doesn’t change the fact he has missed time. The hope is he can play a large number of games in the upcoming season.

See also  Kobe Bryant’s top 100 games: No. 37

Buckley on Embiid’s floor:

The next time Embiid plays 70 games in a season will be his first. His 68 appearances this past season marked a new career-high. His 14 absences didn’t do too much damage to his season or Philly’s, but doubling that number could cause real trouble for both.

Should something strike down the 7-footer for one-third of the campaign or more, then neither he nor the Sixers will win anything of significance.

James Harden – ceiling

bac612c9a021b939a1bfbc5a86cabf22

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The ceiling for Harden is he gets his burst back after an offseason of rest and he chases after an All-NBA spot. In 21 games after the trade, The Beard averaged 21 points, 10.5 assists, and 7.1 rebounds. Those numbers are very good, but Philadelphia needs more in order to compete in a tough Eastern Conference.

Buckley on Harden’s ceiling:

Harden’s production has trended down the past two seasons, a span which just so happens to coincide with hamstring trouble for the 33-year-old. In other words, this could be less a case of age catching up to him than it is a simple injury and recovery process.

If his hamstring finally heals, and his burst is all the way back, he could splash, step-back and table-set his way back on to his first All-NBA roster since 2019-20.

James Harden – floor

See also  Chris Paul enters Point God mode, leads Suns over Pelicans in Game 1
2ed5c464f26e49050b563a9c6e79a959

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Harden’s floor for the upcoming season totally depends on his summer and whether he has healed from his hamstring injury. If he continues to lose his burst and take a step back in production, then Philadelphia will be in trouble from the perimeter as the 33-year-old continues to age.

Buckley on Harden’s floor:

Either way, there are no guarantees his statistics will bounce back. Last season, he posted his worst three-point percentage (33.0) and second-worst field-goal percentage (41.0). If those don’t improve going forward, he’ll be a quantity-over-quality scorer who doesn’t positively impact winning.

Tyrese Maxey – ceiling

84797adfed14d33eabb239fde09b712c

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Maxey took a huge step forward in the 2021-22 season as he continues to grow as a young guard in this league. His ceiling for the upcoming season is to make an All-Star appearance and earn the Most Improved Player award which should springboard him the rest of the way.

Buckley on Maxey’s ceiling:

There might plenty of mouths to feed in Philly, but if Maxey proves he’s ready for a heavier workload, the Sixers won’t hold him back. If he turns his 17.5 points and 4.3 assists into something like 23 points and six dimes while sustaining (or, better yet, improving) his shooting rates, he could be a lock for both the All-Star team and Most Improved Player award.

Tyrese Maxey – floor

See also  Cade Cunningham showing out for red-hot Pistons
f6edb90622df8e4678fc596f0870e9e7

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Maxey’s floor is based on his 3-point shooting. If the young man slides in that department, his production might decline and it will probably hurt his overall efficiency. If that does happen, the Sixers have better depth than before and that might cause him to get lost in the shuffle.

Buckley on Maxey’s floor:

If he’s not a hyper-efficient option, the Sixers have enough scoring depth that they could simply look in different directions for buckets. He’s too good to get totally lost in the shuffle, but there could be stretches in which Philly doesn’t feel his impact.

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire



Source link