PHILADELPHIA-Back on Jan. 15 after a road win over the Los Angeles Lakers, coach Doc Rivers stated that the Philadelphia 76ers will be utilizing three different starting lineups for the rest of the season.
Since then, the Sixers have used the same starting lineup: James Harden, De'Anthony Melton, Tobias Harris, and PJ Tucker, and Joel Embiid for every game except for one due to Harden and Embiid managing their injuries. That is when Tyrese Maxy re-entered the starting lineup.
In terms of what Rivers will be looking for when he makes the decisions on his starting units, it will depend on the current matchup. For example, against the Denver Nuggets and the Orlando Magic, Rivers liked having Tucker in there against Denver's Nikola Jokic and Orlando's Paolo Banchero.
He also liked Melton defending Denver's and Orlando's guards at the perimeter. It's decisions like those that will influence Rivers' decision to start who he feels is the best to go out there and produce.
"Just different size," said Rivers after Wednesday's win over the Magic. "You can figure it out. It's not rocket science. If a team is small, if there's no one for PJ to guard, let's say on one night. If there's no one for D-Melt to guard, then we'll go with a more offensive unit. We can go a lot of different ways."
It's obvious that Rivers likes what Melton brings to the starting lineup due to his defensive versatility. He is able to bounce around and defend different players and that is something that will allow him to have success and help the Sixers succeed.
Maxey will likely get his turn when Philadelphia is matching up with smaller opponents. That is when the Sixers will need his scoring ability to step in and give them a boost in order to win on that given night.
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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire