PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers are off to a 3-0 start to the James Harden era. The future Hall of Fame bearded guard has done a terrific job of fitting in rather quickly and he has been able to get everybody involved on the floor.
The caveat to all of this is that the Sixers have yet to face a legitimate opponent. They started the Harden era off with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have been having a solid season, but they are not title contenders. They then faced the struggling New York Knicks two games in a row and therefore, that could be a reason for the quick success.
Now, they get set to begin a stretch of tougher opponents starting with the No. 6 seed in the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers, on Friday. They then face the Miami Heat on the road on Saturday before hosting the Chicago Bulls and the Brooklyn Nets.
“For us, every matchup is gonna be tough,” said Harden. “We’re new so we’re still learning each other. So every game is gonna be a learning experience for us and we just gotta find ways to continue to chip away, continue to get better, win or lose. Obviously, it’s better when you win to figure it out, but this is gonna be a great test for us and we’re looking forward to it.”
To Harden’s point, every game is going to be tough for Philadelphia as they continue to build and they feel each other out as they move forward. Coach Doc Rivers then added that he doesn’t overdo any regular-season games and that the Sixers still need to continue to grow as a team.
“If we win them all, it doesn’t mean that we’ve arrived,” said Rivers. “You know what I mean by that? Like, we want to be good and great by the end of this. We need to win games, but I’m not using that as some secret. I don’t ever overdo regular-season games. You never know what a team’s going through with injuries and if they’ve played four in the last six nights. I mean, we play Miami on a back-to-back after playing here. That’s a brutal back-to-back, so we’ll be ready for all of them, hopefully, and can win all of them.”
The tough stretch will start on Friday at 7 p.m. EST with the Cavs.
This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!