Yahoo Sports’ Dan Devine and Jake Fischer discuss how the 76ers can get over the hump without James Harden and one important takeaway from Philly’s recent win over the Celtics. Hear the full conversation on “No Cap Room” - part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.
JAKE FISCHER: My thought on Philly is that just like what the [? Quickly ?] thing, I am growing more interested in the idea of the Sixers not trading all three picks and everything they got for some guy right now and doing a more mid-sized, can we just add a legitimate guy who's a starter who might be better than De'Anthony Melton but might not be better than Tobias Harris? And just take this thing up a little bit more. And then we get more picks in the summer blah, blah, blah.
Because like they're pretty damn good with Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid. And they seem to like just really need one more creative type when Maxey's off the floor. I'm curious what your takeaways were, Mr. Devine.
DAN DEVINE: This is the biggest Philly team, like biggest, like size and length, since the Jimmy team, right? You think about now--
JAKE FISCHER: They're pretty big.
DAN DEVINE: I know everybody-- I understood why everybody focused primarily on the picks in the Clippers deal. And said like, well, what matters is what the Sixers do from here with these new assets.
JAKE FISCHER: Now you really are sounding like a "Rights to Ricky Sanchez" episode.
DAN DEVINE: Well, but when I saw it I was like, wait, they got Batum and they got Robert Covington to add to-- they already have Tobias Harris and they have Kelly Oubre. Like now there's just a lot of big three, four types that can defend multiple positions that are long, that are active defensively, and that can shoot. Like that is not a kind of roster that the Sixers have had in a very long time.
They very rarely had a lot. And you could see it. And De'Anthony Melton being really long for a shorter defender. And that obviously Embiid and Paul Reed, [? b-ball ?] Paul at the five spot. Like there's just so many big friggin' dudes and so much length when they play defense. It made it really, really hard for the Celtics to consistently find good looks.
It was a really quiet Jayson Tatum performance. The length that Philly brings to bear on defense, I think, is going to be a real problem for a lot of teams to deal with. Embiid looks really comfortable defensively. When he has the ball, like trying to just like mash Porzingis into the paint. He looked more comfortable against Al Horford than I'd seen him in a really long time.
It should be a match-up now where Embiid can dominate offensively. I came away from that game thinking like this would be a phenomenal series, again, if we get there. And it will be, I think-- the fundamentals of it will look very different because of the moves that each team has made since the last time they matched up. It was frigging awesome. It was a really, really good early season game.