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On the second leg of their five-game West Coast swing last week, the Philadelphia 76ers elected to swap De’Anthony Melton for Tyrese Maxey in the starting lineup. After the Sixers defeated the Lakers, 113-112, head coach Doc Rivers told reporters he intends to use three different starting units, presumably rotating among Maxey, Melton and P.J. Tucker.
In a recent survey, 52 percent of fans are “intrigued” by this development, with another 35 percent more timid about things. Not many voters seem to feel negatively about the shift.
Since Rivers made the move and every possible starter’s been healthy, Philadelphia’s adhered to one lineup, albeit with a small four-game sample. The Sixers won their next two contests — against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers — with the James Harden-Melton-Tucker-Tobias Harris-Joel Embiid quintet opening games. Harden and Embiid sat out Saturday’s comeback victory over the Sacramento Kings, so Maxey and Montrezl Harrell replaced them.
A 4-0 start to this era will likely have fans optimistic, and it’ll be interesting to see how or if it evolves in the coming months against varying matchups.