The Philadelphia 76ers have made several big moves to put a championship-caliber team around Joel Embiid. Their most recent acquisition was the biggest splash of all. The Sixers swung a trade for James Harden, who went right to work with Embiid. They posted monster numbers in their first game together, which resulted in a 31-point win.
New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau offered some high praise ahead of the matinee game against the new-look Sixers, who according to him, now have the best starting lineup in the league.
Tom Thibodeau says there’s “no question” Philadelphia’s new-look starting five is now among the NBA’s best after the addition of James Harden.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 27, 2022
The pairing of Embiid and Harden would be dangerous no matter who’s around them. But the Sixers have them surrounded with pretty solid talent. Tyrese Maxey is a terrific up-and-coming star who is a menace to guard because of his quickness. Matisse Thybulle is a menace on the other end of the court, bothering opponents with his unmatched blend of instincts and energy. Tobias Harris contributes on both ends and is the team’s third-leading scorer at 18.4 points per game.
The Sixers’ starting five is definitely among the best in the league. The Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, and Brooklyn Nets (should every one of their stars be healthy at once) are the other strong candidates. Other teams’ starters may have a similar level of impact but Philadelphia’s lineup might be the best combination of stars and supporting pieces.
The Knicks, one of the Sixers’ Atlantic Divison rivals, will get to know just how dominant they are more than anyone.