Nuggets coach Michael Malone says Sixers’ starting lineup is tough to handle
The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Denver Nuggets by a score of 117-110 on Friday night with their new starting lineup that now features forward Tobias Harris, whom they acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the trade deadline.
After the game, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone praised the 76ers’ starting five, saying that its versatility makes it a tough matchup:
“You look at that starting lineup, aside from (J.J.) Redick, they have size, length and athleticism,” said Malone, according to The Associated Press. “They’re tough to handle.”
Redick actually led Philadelphia with 34 points on the night, and Jimmy Butler chipped in with 22.
The Sixers entered the season with a lineup that was headlined by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, which clearly was not enough in an improving Eastern Conference that housed the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks.
However, in November, the 76ers swung a trade for Butler, who, at the time, was a disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves star. Philadelphia surrendered Dario Saric and Robert Covington in the deal, sacrificing some shooting for an All-Star caliber wing.
Then, sensing that that still wasn’t enough, the Sixers then landed Harris from the Clippers, paying a rather hefty price that included a pair of first-round draft picks.
Remember: both Butler and Harris will be free agents this summer, so the 76ers are taking a risk here, but they feel it is a risk worth taking.
The Sixers improved to 35-20 with the win and sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.