Many had tempered their expectations for the Philadelphia 76ers this season due to circumstances which hounded the team not so long ago, but six games in, the team has been one of the best in the league, sitting neatly atop the Eastern Conference with a 5-1 win-loss card.
New head coach Nick Nurse has been getting the most out of reigning MVP Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, who appears poised to be a first-time All-Star this season while also getting very solid contributions from the other complements on the roster. Still, for the team to remain where they are currently seated, the coaching staff could consider these four lineup changes early on.
1. The 76ers should promote Kelly Oubre Jr. by…demoting him?
The Kelly Oubre Jr. experience has been one of the early feel-good stories in the NBA. After taking a colossal discount in the offseason to sign with the 76ers, the 27-year-old has stood out as a microwave scorer for the team, posting 18 points per game so far on efficient shooting splits across the board.
That being said, it’s more ideal for Philly to have him firing arrows off the bench as the sixth man. Oubre has been solid in two out of three games he started so far, but demoting him to second-unit duty will actually be a promotion of the sorts as he will have a lot more freedom to create for himself with the second stringers.
There’s credence to letting Oubre open games even though the team touts the best offensive rating so far, but him leading the second unit would allow the 76ers to have a more optimized hierarchy on the scoring end. Nevertheless, as long as his production does not dip significantly, he should be one of the closers on the roster.