Philadelphia 76ers built a championship-caliber rotation by prioritizing defense
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots over Montrezl Harrell (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
In Greek mythology, a man by the name of Sisyphus defied the gods by dodging death twice. This didn’t go over well with the father of gods, Zeus, who sentenced Sisyphus to an eternity of rolling a boulder up a hill. Every time Sisyphus approached the mountaintop, the boulder rolled back down, forcing the ill-fated man to renew his cyclical journey. In many ways, the last decade of Philadelphia 76ers basketball has been Sisyphean.
‘The Process’ certainly worked, if you look at it in a vacuum. Through all of their swings and many misses in the NBA Draft, the Sixers finally managed to acquire the franchise stars and adequate role players to develop a winning product. A five-year Playoff drought is mirrored by five consecutive winning seasons, but Philly has yet to make it past the Eastern Conference Semis.
The Philadelphia 76ers ascended to contender status in the 2022 offseason.
Finally, after so many years rolling that boulder up the hill, the Philadelphia 76ers have a 10-man rotation headlined by star power and versatile defenders worthy of competing in the NBA Finals. Statistically speaking, they have the most talented pick-and-roll duo in basketball with superstar center Joel Embiid and Scoring Champion turned playmaking extraordinaire James Harden leading the way.
Philly’s starting five projects to remain the same with third-year guard Tyrese Maxey, All-Defensive selection Mattise Thybulle and fringe All-Star Tobias Harris rounding out the lineup. However, President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey returned to his roots this offseason by methodically maneuvering the salary cap and making a savvy trade to bring in four new rotation pieces who expertly fit the needs of this team and its superstars.