Ranking the Sixers’ most important defenders

P.J. Tucker, Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
P.J. Tucker, Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA season just kicked off with the Philadelphia 76ers’ first three games and it is great to have basketball back. This Sixers team has extremely high expectations now that James Harden has had a full offseason to get comfortable with his teammates and the organization. In the opener against Boston, Harden showed flashes of his old self and the team’s offense looked relatively as expected.

For the 76ers to put up 117 points against the Boston Celtics, arguably one of the best defenses in the league, on the road is not something to brush over. Sure no one wanted a loss in the first game of the season, but there were some positives to take away.

One of the negatives to come out of the game was the defense struggling. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this team’s problem has never been offense. They have multiple players that can go off for 40+ at a moment’s notice. However, that alone will not win this team an NBA Championship.

Defense may not be as flashy or fun to watch, but strong defense wins Championships and a big reason that is the case is that defense travels. All teams go into shooting slumps or have trouble running their offense in hostile arenas, but the thing that can always be controlled is defensive effort. And if your team has a defensive identity, it does not matter where they are playing, who they are playing, or if the shots are falling that particular night.

In the following slides, I will discuss the players whose defense is most important for this team to have success this season.