Through 76 games, Niang averaged just under ten points per game, which led the Sixers beyond the starting lineup. As the veteran forward knocked down 40-percent of his shots, Niang was one of Philly’s most reliable deep threats.
Unfortunately, his regular-season success didn’t translate all the way into the postseason. In 12 games, Niang averaged under five points per game. While he did a solid job by knocking down 66-percent of his threes in the first-round series against the Toronto Raptors, Niang struggled a lot in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat.
Through six games, Niang averaged 15 minutes on the floor. He averaged just three points and hit on 16-percent of his threes on four attempts per game. Not one to make excuses, Niang avoided blaming his knee on his struggles throughout the series.
But when the season was all said and done a couple of weeks ago, the veteran sharpshooter made it clear that his knee was bothering him throughout the playoff run.
“My left knee had been bothering me toward the end of the year and then into the playoffs,” said Niang during his exit interview. “That’s something that we’re going to address with imaging and see what’s going on there.”
At the time, Niang was hopeful that his setback was nothing serious. However, he made it clear he has to prioritize his health in the offseason as he understands how important he is to the 76ers’ bench heading into the 2022-2023 season.
“I don’t think it’s anything serious, but it’s something I need to get under and then take care of so that I can be 100-percent,” Niang finished. “It wouldn’t be fair to my teammates if my health isn’t something that I’m taking care of over the offseason to get back and be better for next year.”
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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