There’s no denying the huge expectations for the Sixers this season.

And that extends beyond Philadelphia. Nationally, the Sixers are perceived by many to be one of the favorites to reach the NBA Finals.

As a guest on the Sixers Talk podcast, former NBA player and NBC Sports Boston Celtics analyst Brian Scalabrine had high praise for the Sixers. “The White Mamba” believes they’re the best team in the conference and feature the best starting five in the NBA.

All of that hinges on his belief that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are two of the most physically imposing players in the NBA.

This guy should be the most dominant force we’ve seen in a long time,” Scalabrine said of Embiid. “If he lost the 25 pounds, if he keeps the 25 pounds off, if he doesn’t eat Oreo cookie shakes on the plane and all that stuff — I don’t see how the NBA handles a guy like Joel Embiid. I just think he’s so dominant of a force. He’s so complete of a player.

While a lot of the attention with Simmons has been focused on his shot, Scalabrine isn’t as worried about that. Like Embiid, he believes Simmons has the physical tools to take over games.

I’m not concerned about Ben Simmons and his lack of shooting. I look at their dominance athletically and physically and ultimately when everyone knows what you’re going to run, the physical, dominant specimens — the LeBrons, the Kawhi Leonards, the Giannis [Antetokounmpos] — those are the guys that separate themselves in the playoffs.


Scalabrine also touched on what Al Horford will bring to the Sixers, the Celtics’ new approach and much more.

Hosts Danny Pommells and myself also had Sixers forward Mike Scott talking about becoming an “OG” and NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Serena Winters to preview the upcoming season.

You can check out the full pod below.

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