Are the 2022-2023 Philadelphia 76ers the best Sixers team in the Joel Embiid era?
The fanbase took much longer to buy into this team than any other team in recent memory. After countless second round exits, the fanbase took a “prove it” approach to this team, and prove it they did. In a season that seemed pretty lackluster, the Sixers finished the regular season as the third seed with 54 wins, the most a Joel Embiid led team has won.
One can argue the 2018-2019 team with Jimmy Butler was the best, or the number 1 seeded team the following year but this current Sixers team is perhaps the best.
Embiid was great from 2018-2020, but the player he was then is no match for the player he has become. At that time, Embiid was a top 10 player in the sport, now he is arguably the best player in the entire NBA.
Embiid elevating his game to (literally) MVP caliber play is a big reason why this team would outlast any team of the past couple of years, but it is not the only reason. James Harden has been outstanding this year, while he is not the scorer he was in Houston, he is still the same playmaker.
What makes this team so great is that they do not need Harden to go out and score 40 or 50 points every night, they have Embiid to do that. Harden can walk out on the floor and focus on facilitating the offense and hitting shots when they are available.
The fantastic thing about this current Sixers team is that everyone on it has a role and that was not the case with the Jimmy Butler team, or the number 1 seeded team. This team does not need Tobias Harris to do things that he quite frankly can not do.
It remains to be seen what kind of playoff success this team will have, which may largely determine the answer to this question but it is certainly possible that we may be witnessing the best team of the Joel Embiid era.
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