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CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 26: Tobias Harris #12, Tyrese Maxey #0, James Harden #1, and Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers pose for a picture during media day at the 76ers Training Complex on September 26, 2022 in Camden, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Sometimes a feeling, to me, is just as good as knowledge.

Sure, if you’re going to make a prediction on a player, a game or a season, you’ll want to do your research so you will be able to give an educated perception of what you’re talking about.

I’ve done my research on this current Sixers team. That has told me that the combination of Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tobias Harris and Tyreese Maxey are going to carry this team to special places – expecting a run to the Eastern Conference Finals, hoping for a Finals appearance.

And the additions of P.J. Tucker, Montrezl Harrell, Danuel House and De’Anthony Melton certainly makes the team tougher, an important ingredient missing from last year’s team that disappointed with yet another second-round loss, this time to the Miami Heat. All of those players should have a heavy hand to what kind of success Doc Rivers’ team will have. And How Georges Niang, Matisse Thybull, Paul Reed , Shake Milton  and Furkan Korkmaz roles will be defined is something that Rivers will have to figure out throughout the season.

That is the on-the-court sense of things. But the feeling is something that I picked up at media day at their Camden practice facility on Monday has me as optimistic about this season as the talent Daryl Morey and Elton Brand have assembled recently.

It’s hard to describe, but I’ll just call it a vibe. These players want to be around one another. They like to talk about the fun they have with other. They bust stones. They do all the things you want from a close, cohesive unit. And the story of Rivers having to tell Reed and Maxey to shut down their numerous off-season workouts for fear of wearing themselves out, is golden.

So is the sight of James Harden, sitting next to Embiid while the center told the gathered media about his desire to win a championship, nodding in agreement and flexing his arms, as if to say he’s ready NOW,

On paper, this should be a team that approaches the 55-60 win mark. That’s really good. And it’s not as good as the feeling I have about this team.

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