I've been hearing a lot of buzz from 76ers' fans over the past week or so that guard De Anthony Melton should be in the starting line-up. I happen to agree with this sentiment; but, I don't agree that Tyrese Maxey should be the player asked to come off the bench. I believe, in order for the Sixers to become a more deadly offensive and defensive [TEAM], James Harden should be the one who comes in off the bench.
Don't get me wrong, James Harden (to me) is still a top 15-20 player in the NBA; but because of how this team is configured, I believe they would be a more fluid [TEAM] with De Anthony Melton playing along side of Tyrese Maxey (as a starter), in the back court! With Embiid and PJ Tucker as starters, adding Melton would vastly improve their defense, and because Melton can shoot the 3 ball at a nice clip, the offence wouldn't take a dramatic hit as well.
Can you imagine James Harden, feasting on inferior bench players as a 6th man off the bench? In most cases, the Sixers would already be up by 10-15 points, (because of their stellar defense), before Harden enters the game! Then Harden can come in and work his scoring wizardry on the opposing team's bench players, and increase their lead by another 10-15 points!
Harden is more of an isolation player who likes to slow things down and dribble in order to set his teammates up. Melton and Maxey are both suited to get up and down the court on fast breaks! Having this fast paced guard play to start off games would open things up for Embiid and Tobias as well.
There's an old adage that says: "There's no "I" in [TEAM]." This is 100% true. For this Sixers squad to function better as a [TEAM], The coach needs to talk to James Harden and get him to see the value in sacrificing his personal ego for the benefit of the [TEAM]. Ultimately, this shouldn't be a [HARD] decision. If Harden really wants to win a championship in Philly, he needs to step back and allow De Anthony to start for the benefit of the [TEAM]!