Reading the title, everyone would think that we are talking about the unstoppable duo of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, who are wreaking havoc even on the best defenses in the league. But the truth is that both players take advantage to give their best when the other is not on the court. The Sixers' best 2-man lineup, however, does include the Cameroonian.
Nico Batum and Joel Embiid have a combined Net Rating of +27.4 point differential per 100 possessions.
That places them as the best duo in the league with at least 150 minutes played. A shocking value, which represents the importance of the former Clippers player in Nick Nurse's system. The forward has become one of the best defenders on the team, who is also capable of hurting all defenses with his efficiency from long-range and quick release. If that wasn't enough, his enormous basketball IQ has given the Sixers a profile that always makes good decisions, and is capable of making some of the best entry passes we have seen in Philadelphia.
Maybe that is also the reason why the fourth-best pairing in the league in Net Rating is the one that the Frenchman forms with Tyrese Maxey. The guard knows that he owns the second and fourth quarters, and he has also been able to maximize his production with Nico Batum by his side. But, surprisingly, Nick Nurse doesn't just count those two pairings among the league's elite.
Of the 7 most efficient duos in the NBA, 5 are made up of Sixers players
Patrick Beverley and Kelly Oubre are the fifth, Robert Covington and Paul Reed the sixth, and Nico Batum and D'Anthony Melton the seventh. These pairings are surpassed only by the duo of Brandon Ingram and Jose Alvarado, and by the duo of Derrick White and, curiously, Payton Pritchard. The Sixers starting lineup is destroying the starters of the rest of the teams when they are all healthy, and there is no better sign than this to face the second half of the season.