Sixers: 3 early season overreactions after sluggish start

Tobias Harris, James Harden, Joel Embiid, P.J. Tucker, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Tobias Harris, James Harden, Joel Embiid, P.J. Tucker, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Sixers are 4-4. That’s not great, but it does feel pretty good relative to the 1-4 snoozefest Philly opened the season with. They’ve rattled off three straight wins (two of which came without Joel Embiid), establishing some much-needed momentum and quelling panic around the fandom.

Embiid has gradually looked more and more like his MVP self, while James Harden looks miles better physically and mentally than he did last season. Tyrese Maxey is making another leap, Tobias Harris is mostly buying into his role, and the new additions have — for the most part — paid dividends.

There is plenty good and bad to discuss about the Sixers’ first couple weeks here. Let’s “overreact” a little. Let’s project forward and discuss how the last eight games really made us feel.

Sixers overreaction: Montrezl Harrell should be cut

My co-host Lucas Johnson made this particular proclamation on Monday’s episode of The Sixer Sense Podcast. I’m not sure Harrell should actually be cut — he has traditionally been quite good in the regular season and we saw flashes of Harrell’s talent in Monday’s win over Washington — but it’s an understandable gut reaction to Harrell’s first stretch with the team.

So far, Harrell has been actively harmful on both sides of the ball. He has never been much of a defender, but the offense has been surprisingly unbecoming. He’s a black hole in the post who seems to have lost the finishing touch that made his so special in years past. Harrell does have more experience than Paul Reed in the pick-and-roll (Doc’s primary expressed reason for playing him), but that doesn’t matter much if Harrell can’t deliver at the rim.

Speaking of Paul Reed… it’s time to play him. He will get more comfortable playing off of James Harden if he actually gets the chance to play off of James Harden. You get better in the NBA through practice, yes, but you also need game reps. Reed is too good for the G-League and frankly, he’s too good to toil away on the bench without minutes. The Sixers have a bonafide young talent with obvious two-way potential. Use him!