By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — J.J. Redick is very confident that the Sixers will make the postseason.

Redick, 33, who signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia this offseason, is a bit surprised by the Sixers’ successful start. They are 11-8 through their first 19 games, despite playing the NBA’s toughest schedule thus far.

“Truthfully, I’m having a blast,” Redick said on his podcast. “This has been a great group to be a part of. I feel really fortunate to be on this team at this stage of my career. Truthfully, I’m encouraged and maybe even a little bit surprised with how competitive we’ve been thus far on the season. I realized coming here that this team had a lot of talent, it’s one of the reasons that I wanted to be in Philadelphia and come here.

“But from Joe [Joel Embiid], to Ben [Simmons], to Cov [Robert Covington], to Dario [Saric], to T.J. [McConnell], to Timmy [Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot], Richaun [Holmes] — I can go down the line to my teammates — they’re all better than I realized. The coaching staff is phenomenal. I’m very confident that we’re going to make the playoffs this year, I really feel that.”

Redick gives most of the credit to the Sixers’ two young stars, in Embiid — who was Redick’s guest on the podcast — and Simmons. Simmons is averaging 18.1 points, 7.4 assists, and 9.1 rebounds through his first 18 NBA games.

“And really, the main reason behind that is because of our two superstars, because of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. I don’t think I realized before I came here how good those players were.”

Redick said Simmons is, “faster, stronger, and more athletic than I ever realized. He has the potential to be a transcendent player in the NBA.”

Embiid joined Redick on the podcast, where the two talked about everything from Lonzo Ball to 69 percent.

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