#2) Philadelphia 76ers
From just a sheer physical standpoint, this is arguably the most petrifying starting five in the NBA. They’re big, they got Horford and Embiid manning the frontcourt, a 6’9, 235-pound small forward in Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, and a 6’10 point guard.
That lineup can wear you out in a 7-game series, but they’re not without their issues. For one, and here’s specifically looking at you, Ben Simmons, they have deficiencies shooting the ball beyond the perimeter.
The spacing is a little awkward, to say the least, and if teams continue to scheme out Ben Simmons and turn him into an essential non-factor offensively—especially late in games—how will Brett Brown look to combat that issue?
Still, despite any grievances you have with the makeup of this team, you can’t deny the star power on this roster. This is a nightmare on the defensive end and on the glass. If they answer questions during the season regarding their shooting, this is a team that could at minimal be playing in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Just a few months ago this was a team that took the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors, the full seven games and if not for a very fortuitous bounce for the Raptors on Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer-beater in the dying moments of Game 7—the 76ers could have represented the east come June.
They lost Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick, two significant players on last season’s roster, but the additions of Al Horford, Josh Richardson, quality back up big Kyle O’Quinn, and then Mattias Thybulle in the draft who is a very intriguing prospect alongside Zhaire Smith, this is a really strong team.