The Philadelphia 76ers are set for a title run after turning the page on the Ben Simmons chapter and moving onto James Harden.
Through two games, Harden and Joel Embiid look like they’ll be a fearsome duo to keep track of, and the 76ers center has been quite outspoken about the way Harden opens the game up for him.
He’s even gone as far as calling the offense since Harden arrived “unstoppable,” and that comment has started to ruffle some feathers.
Speaking on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed, fill-in host Jason McIntyre wants to cull the momentum and put a halt to some of the hot takes. In response to people saying this has the chance to become the new Shaq and Kobe duo, he says that’s not true at all. He didn’t just stop there, however, and he decided to take things even further.
McIntyre Blasts Philly Fans
Filling in for Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless is no small feat, but McIntyre proved he’s more than willing to do so with his take.
“Some bozos in Philadelphia are saying Harden and Embiid are the new Kobe and Shaq,” he said. “That’s comical. This is not even a Top 5 duo in the East. A 1st round exit would not be a surprise.”
The Sixers, dispatched in the second round last season by the Atlanta Hawks, are projected as championship contenders with this trade, and McIntyre believes a first round exit is in the cards. The analyst says the duo don’t make a good fit for each other, despite the highlight passes we’ve seen from Harden to Embiid already.
“These are two iso players,” he continues. “They do not work great together.”
You’ll be hard-pressed to find somebody agreeing with that idea, especially considering how dominant the new duo has been through just two games. Making Kobe and Shaq comparisons might be a bit early since that pair won three NBA championships together.
With that said, the Sixers don’t have any excuses this year with Embiid playing at an MVP level and Harden looking like he’s playing with more energy now than he was during his time all season in Brooklyn.
What’s the Ceiling?
With the talent this team now has, even without Andre Drummond and Seth Curry playing key roles, it’s easy to envision this team competing for a championship.
As more players get bought out, it’s safe to assume Philadelphia will be active there and looking for ways to shore up their roster.
If Harden and Embiid continue to play at the level they’ve been playing at, and if health isn’t a factor, the Sixers definitely have a high ceiling.
Harden is coming off an injury himself, but some fans might chalk that up to him wanting out of Brooklyn. With Kevin Durant injured and Kyrie Irving’s long-term availability in question, the division is wide open for the Sixers to claim. Getting the first seed in the Eastern Conference would give the Sixers home court all the way to the Finals, and they could ride that to a ring if the dominoes fall in their favor.