Two Sixers poised for a breakout season in 2021-22
As crazy as it might sound, the NBA regular season is rapidly approaching. Training camp is right around the bend and for the Philadelphia 76ers, that likely means without Ben Simmons. Despite this, the Sixers still have plenty of talent on a solid roster entering the year.
While most of the offseason talk for the Sixers has centered around Ben Simmons, it’s time to start looking at the entire team. Following a premature exit in the postseason, Joel Embiid and Co. will be looking to make a statement this year.
Multiple players can be thrown into this discussion, but here are two Sixers who are poised for a breakout season in 2021-22.
Typically, younger players are chosen when deciding breakout candidates, but Seth Curry belongs near the top of this list for multiple reasons. The first reason being that he had a great first-year campaign in Philadelphia.
When the Sixers acquired Curry on draft night 2020, many expected him to be a perfect fit alongside Embiid and Simmons. He was all of that and then some, putting up close to career-high points per game numbers (12.5) and connecting on 45% of his shots from beyond the arc.
Despite minimal training camp and few practices during the season, the 31-year-old had no issues integrating himself with his new teammates. Curry also had to adjust to a new head coach who also happened to be his father-in-law in Doc Rivers.
The biggest reason why Curry should be among the top breakout candidates is the way he ended last season. When the postseason rolled around, the sharpshooting guard managed to take his game to new heights. In just 12 playoff games, Curry set a new playoff career-high in points not once but twice. Some could argue he was the second-best player for the Sixers in the playoffs behind Embiid.
Between the way he played off Embiid in the playoffs and having a regular offseason and training camp to work with the team, Curry is due for another career year this season.
When discussing potential breakout candidates for the Sixers, it’s hard not to bring up their 2020 first-round pick. Tyrese Maxey showed a ton of promise as a rookie and is one player fans are most excited to see take the floor this season.
Due to last year’s circumstances, Maxey essentially had to adapt to life in the NBA on the fly. With no Summer League and an abnormal training camp, there was minimal time for him to prepare for his first season as a pro.
Now with things slowly getting back to normal, Maxey has everything at his disposal to burst onto the scene in year two. His performance in Vegas during Summer League was a clear indicator he is looking to add to the foundation he built as a rookie.
The biggest reason why Maxey is a top breakout candidate is opportunity. Throughout last season, he was constantly in and out of the rotation. Heading into this season, that is unlikely to be the case. With no other point guard on the roster outside of Ben Simmons, it’s clear the organization wants to give Maxey a solidified role moving forward.
It did not take long for the young guard to build a reputation as a gym rat. Maxey works relentlessly behind the scenes to grow his game. After a full offseason of having NBA trainers at his disposal, it would not be shocking if Maxey’s game has new elements.
Only time will tell, but Curry and Maxey both have the potential to be major players for the Sixers this season.