Harris calls out NBA over very suspect power rankings

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The Sixers, for yet another week, are the best team in the NBA's Eastern Conference. So far, this season has been a satisfying display of smart roster moves and on-court synergy. Things really haven't changed much: this is a great team.

But apparently leading the conference for weeks on end isn't enough to be considered one of the five best teams in the league.

On Monday, the NBA released its power rankings, which strangely placed the Sixers at No. 5 in the power rankings, falling three spots:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNA0Yuer_i9

Sixers star Tobias Harris took issue with the slight, calling out the league's rankings on Instagram with a bit of tongue-in-cheek sass:

Yeah, Harris is right to be unhappy with the rankings.

The Sixers have been leading the East for months now, not wavering except in the face of a debilitating injury to the best player in the league - and even then, they've barely seen a dip without Joel Embiid.

Are these the same Bucks who narrowly avoided losing to the Embiid-less Sixers earlier this month? The same Clippers who allowed the Embiid-less Sixers to stick around into the second half in Los Angeles? The same Jazz who took a (very whiny) L the last time they faced the East leaders - and who lost to the very bad Wizards just 11 days ago, with a fully healthy roster?

Very interesting.

If anything, the Sixers' performance without Embiid shows just how deep this team is behind the MVP candidate. Tobias Harris has excelled on the offensive end, Ben Simmons has been his steady self, role players have stepped up depending on the game, and the team's defense as a whole has remained stellar despite the absence of its anchor.

The Nets added Blake Griffin and Lamarcus Aldridge at the trade deadline and in the buyout market, two players who are past their prime and who absolutely cannot guard Embiid. Brooklyn is the only team I can buy being over the Sixers in the power rankings, purely on their performance since the James Harden trade, but I'm still pretty sure the Sixers win a seven-game series against a team that largely refuses to play defense.

Doc Rivers is maximizing this team in a real way, and when Embiid returns they should be back to playing league-best basketball, so seeing the Sixers outside the Top 3 is, frankly, inexplicable. Thankfully, the standings are what actually determine playoff seeding - and right now the Sixers are at the top.

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