James Harden arrived at the Wells Fargo Center Wednesday wearing a Celine designer jacket and pants populated with swirls of orange and yellow resembling flames.

The chosen attire perfectly symbolized the 76ers’ start to the Harden era. They have totaled three consecutive double-digit wins against the plucky-but-overmatched Minnesota Timberwolves and reeling New York Knicks, with Harden stuffing the box score, Joel Embiid maintaining his MVP-caliber play and Tyrese Maxey thriving while playing more off the ball.

Coach Doc Rivers said that he does not “overdo” regular-season games because of potential injuries and scheduling quirks for both teams that do not exist during the playoffs. Yet the upcoming week should be a better barometer for a 38-23 Sixers team that has vaulted into contender status since its blockbuster deadline trade that brought perennial All-Star Harden to Philly.

» READ MORE: James Harden is on pace to pass Reggie Miller on the all-time three-pointers list

They next play a home-road, back-to-back on Friday against the 36-26 Cleveland Cavaliers, who entered Thursday in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, and Saturday against the 41-22 Miami Heat, who sit atop the conference. Then, they face the second-seeded Chicago Bulls (39-23) on Monday before a March 10 showdown against the Brooklyn Nets (32-31) that will be emotionally charged whether Ben Simmons plays or not.

“If we win them all, it doesn’t mean that we’ve arrived,” Rivers said. “You know what I mean by that? We want to be good and great by the end of this, right? And we need to win games doing it, but I’m not using that as some secret [sauce].”

The Sixers are 6-3 against the Cavaliers, Heat, Bulls and Nets so far this season, which helped them rise to third place in the tightly packed East standings even before Harden arrived. And that is just one segment of a challenging final quarter of the regular season.

They also have two road games remaining against the Cavaliers. They play the Denver Nuggets (sixth in the Western Conference standings entering Thursday), Dallas Mavericks (fifth in the West) and defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks (fourth in the East) at home, plus a back-to-back at the Wells Fargo Center against the Toronto Raptors (seventh in the East) and Heat. Later this month, they will travel West to play the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers and Phoenix Suns, whose 50-12 record is the best in the NBA.

The Sixers entered Thursday two games back of the first-place Heat and 2 ½ ahead of the sixth-place Boston Celtics (37-27), illustrating how dramatically seeding could shift during the next five weeks.

Rivers used the phrase “speed dating” to describe what it’s like to implement Harden during this short stretch following the All-Star break.

The coach has opted to sharpen the three or four plays Harden currently knows before expanding the collection of sets they run. The Sixers hit their first snag with Harden during Wednesday’s opening 24 minutes against the Knicks, allowing 16 points off turnovers and playing with a self-described lack of energy before their second-half turnaround. Harden said the Sixers continue to “harp on” transition defense and rebounding, two areas where they rank among the worst in the NBA this season.

“If we do that at a high level more times than not, it’s gonna be very difficult for teams to beat us,” Harden said. “Because, offensively, we get pretty good shots each possession.”

» READ MORE: Harden Mania puts Sixers at the center of a Philly love story a decade in the making | David Murphy

Next up is the back-to-back Rivers called “brutal” because of the travel distance from Philly to Miami. It is the second time the Sixers have been forced into that particular scheduling oddity this season, after they beat Boston at home and then rallied to top the Heat on the road in mid-January in one of their more impressive stretches of the season.

Replicating those results against the Cavaliers and Heat this weekend would be an ideal start to the Sixers’ barometer-setting week.

“We’ll be ready for all of them, hopefully,” Rivers said, “and can win all of them.”