The Philadelphia 76ers now have Joel Embiid and Robert Covington signed to long-term deals and an undeniably strong sense of chemistry.
We’ve already written about how Embiid and Covington make each other better on the court. Ben Simmons is off to an incredible start this season, Dario Saric is shooting well from long range and JJ Redick has proven his value as an expensive free agency signing.
As a five-man lineup, they have outscored opponents by 29.3 points per possession. For comparison, Golden State’s best lineup that has played more than 25 minutes together has only outscored opponents by 16.9 points per possession.
This unit for the Sixers has the second-best defensive rating in the NBA and the third-best offensive rating (116 points per 100 possessions) in the Eastern Conference when looking just at players who have played at least 100 minutes together.
They also have the best defensive rebounding rate (88.2 percent) among players who have played at least 100 minutes together.
For even further context on why this is so impressive, not that this has come against some of the best teams in basketball (via The Athletic):
“Their strong play comes during a time when seven of those 13 games occurred on the road and against some tough competition, including the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors (twice) and Portland Trail Blazers.”
If the season ended today, Philadelphia would be the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference postseason.
However, they may continue to improve their performances as they have played the hardest schedule out of any team so far this season.
The young core is already one of the best teams in the East and that’s without 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz playing a single healthy minute yet in his career.
While we have previously written about how dominant this team could be with LeBron James, continued success may force the front office to see how well they can develop their current roster.