The Philadelphia 76ers have been playing some excellent basketball as of late as they have surged to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. They are now just a game back of the Boston Celtics for the No. 2 seed and it’s due to the immense amount of talent on their roster.
The Sixers are led by arguably the best big man in the game in Joel Embiid as well as a future Hall of Fame guard in James Harden. The two of them are the best pick-and-roll duo in the league and they have figured out a way to be in sync out on the floor.
The Ringer has put out their latest NBA player rankings and the Sixers have four players on their list of the top 125 players in the league. The number next to each player’s name represents their ranking on the list:
Tobias Harris – 97
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The Ringer on Harris:
When the Sixers are fully operational, Harris works primarily as a spot shooter to help keep the floor spaced for Joel Embiid and James Harden. Yet as the game progresses and lineups shift, Harris can take on more responsibility by creating decent looks of his own off the dribble, or setting up in the post to take advantage of smaller wings. It’s an adaptability that allows Harris to help his starring teammates without being wholly dependent on them, giving the Sixers all the more options as they manage their rotation (and notable absences due to injury) throughout a long season.
Tyrese Maxey – 65
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Ringer on Maxey’s ranking:
Maxey is emerging into the third star the Sixers need next to Joel Embiid and James Harden, providing additional shot creation and the upside to drop 30 on any given night. He’s a three-level scorer who can get to the basket for slippery finishes off the glass, pull up to hit contested midrange jumpers, or jack a shot from way behind the arc.
James Harden – 16
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Ringer on Harden’s terrific season:
One of the most prolific creators of his generation has become one of the league’s great unknowns. It’s clear that the version of Harden suiting up for the Sixers isn’t the same, dominant player who drove elite offenses (and led the league in scoring) year in and year out in Houston. What remains to be seen is how much of that former MVP is really left—and how willing Harden will be to adapt to his new reality.
Even an aging Harden is tremendous in the pick-and-roll, if not to the same ridiculous extremes he once was. These days he’s a bit more reliant on the pick to clear him a runway, and even then has needed to dust off his long-dormant midrange game to account for the fact that it’s getting tougher to drive all the way to the rim.
Joel Embiid – 6
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
The Ringer on Embiid ranking 6th:
Embiid does everything you’d expect a player with a 7-foot, 280-pound frame to do on offense. He can pulverize opponents in the post, backing defenders underneath the rim before finishing loudly. He can cut. He can crash the boards. He can screen and roll. He adds something new to his game every year, and he has turned himself into a perennial MVP candidate. He’s added one post move after another: drop-steps. Fadeaways. Face-up rip-throughs. Hook shots. And he’s managed to apply his interior footwork to the perimeter, with hang dribbles out of drives to the basket, stepbacks from the elbows, and pump fakes to get into his pull-up. Embiid is as fluid as a player can get at his size. He’s like a wing in a big body.
Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire