Statistically speaking, the 76ers are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.
One of the best big men in the league, Joel Embiid, is a force to be reckoned with in the paint.
Embiid is the backbone of this squad, but he also has defensive support from Tobias Harris and P.J. Tucker in the frontcourt.
The Harris-Tucker frontcourt serves as a huge threat for opponents.
Most importantly, they are both veterans with years of experience in the league.
But, the physical strength and size these two players have allows them to match up well against most opponents.
Tucker is known for his ability to guard 1-5, so his addition to the roster was a massive move for the team.
Whenever Embiid is not on the floor, plugging Tucker into the center position has been extremely beneficial.
During this small-ball rotation, Tucker is the anchor of the defense and consistently frustrates opponents trying to create opportunities on offense.
However, the lack of perimeter defense in the Harden-Maxey backcourt has been a troubling issue all season.
Opponents continue to blow by these defenders on the perimeter and attack the paint.
Fortunately, the 76ers have solid defenders who can hold their ground in the paint.
With that being said, it is time for Doc Rivers to start implementing new rotations to fix these defensive woes.
The simplest solution currently is for Tyrese Maxey to come off the bench.
Maxey returned from a foot injury after the start of the new year.
His explosiveness on offense has not disappeared, but he has struggled defensively.
The 76ers don’t need more offensive options as the game plan is focused around Embiid and Harden, so the team should turn their attention towards defense.
With Maxey fulfilling a role off the bench the 76ers can insert De’Anthony Melton into the starting lineup.
While Melton’s offensive abilities are nowhere near Maxey’s, he is an immense upgrade on the defensive side of the ball.
Going forward, I envision a starting lineup consisting of Harden/Melton to put the team in a better position offensively & defensively.
Additionally, this gives Maxey the opportunity to be the leader of the bench unit in crucial minutes.
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