How do the Philadelphia 76ers stack up against the East with Tobias Harris?

Tobias Harris | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Tobias Harris | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks currently have the best record in the NBA at 39-13 and they boast a roster headlined by All-Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. The 76ers dropped their only matchup with the Bucks this season 123-108 in late October. The Bucks have certainly made a name for themselves this year as a team to be taken seriously, putting up 117 points per game, while only allowing 107 to opponents.

When the 76ers visited Milwaukee in October, the roster looked drastically different than it does now. A starting lineup of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Markelle Fultz were helpless against the Bucks. Almost three months later, only Embiid and Simmons remain on the team’s active roster. A starting five of Embiid, Simmons, Butler, Harris, and Redick would give the Bucks matchup nightmares on both ends.

While Antetokounmpo is one of the best slashing forwards in the NBA, the new Sixers starting five has three or four players who can give him matchup trouble. Ideally Ben Simmons would be the primary defender due to the physical similarities between the All-Stars. Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe help spread the floor for the Bucks, but Philadelphia’s new length on the defensive end should match up well with the inexperienced Bucks team.

If the 76ers were to go up against the Bucks in the playoffs, it would presumably come in an Eastern Conference Finals. In such a scenario, I think the Sixers have the edge if they are able to add some bench depth before the trade deadline passes.

Pick: Sixers in 7