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Joel Embiid lucid on James Harden’s status in Philly

This Thursday, out of elimination against the Heat, Joel Embiid made a first observation on the level of James Harden since his arrival in Philly last February. Words both hard and lucid, which help to understand the indentation of El Barbudo in the offensive game of the Sixers. So it’s over. He will no longer take thirteen step-backs in a quarter.

In the last five Playoff campaigns, the Sixers have never made it past the conference semifinals. A big blockage, to which the reinforcement of James Harden in the lead changed absolutely nothing. This season, Doc Rivers’ group came up against stronger/constant/solider than themselves, and lost 4-2 against the Heat. A new disappointment, words are hard to find. The depth of manpower played – Miami having a fixed rotation of ten players – but some holders are also at fault. In this final game 6, James Harden released a disastrous second half at 0/2 shooting, with no free throws obtained. With a Joel Embiid farted in the face and thumb – however on the ground – we expected the former Rockets to come out the mode iso and take matters into their own hands. Something like 47 points at 17/39 in shooting, to the good memories of Texas service stations. But at 32, James Harden is no longer capable of it. This is what Joel Embiid pointed out in the post-match conference. As after any debacle, the leader of a group passes in front of the journalists to evoke there what, in his opinion, did not work. An exercise that requires a certain agility not to say too much. So came the question: “How much more do you think you need James Harden? ». A nice way to ask: “Hey Joel, the bearded guy sucked, huh? You are angry ? ».

” I do not know. I’m not sure we don’t need it anymore, we got what we expected from James Harden. Everyone expected to see Houston’s James Harden, but he’s not that one anymore. He’s more of a playmaker now. Overall, I think we can all be more aggressive. – Joel Embiid, in post-elimination conference

The sentence is salient, but correct. It doesn’t have the same effect as last season’s statement on Ben Simmons. There is a real intention here to protect his lieutenant by evoking this new style of playmaker. If we analyze the tone, the construction of the sentence and the collective sermon even a little, Joel Embiid is actually James Harden’s first lawyer. As for the factual, in the Pennsylvania jersey, the averages ofEl Barbudo are from 21 points at 40% shooting including 33% from 3-pointers, 7.1 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 21 games. The problem is elsewhere. This thought may be a bit blunt, but James Harden is good as long as the TV is off. He and Russell Westbrook – all things considered – are going through the same phase: very decent – ​​even good – statistics but an inability to make their partners’ game grow. And then there are those air pockets. The MVP of the 2017-18 season bursts the screen today in sequences. Able to drop a first quarter to 15 points, he will then give way to a bearded man who looks like him but who stopped basketball in 2009. Too irregular, he no longer has the shoulders to embody a headliner. For the pleasure of hitting where it hurts, we close this paper with the words of Joel Embiid just after James Harden’s first game in Philly. A little fire.

“It was probably the game where I was the most open of my entire career. – Joel Embiid, after James Harden’s first game in Philly

It’s finish. The Sixers are once again eliminated in the conference semi-finals, and James Harden – even in a role of playmaker – did not bring the expected benefits. This summer, the bearded man will normally accept his player option. Just to not relive the Ben Simmons storm, it’s cool that Joel Embiid didn’t load it too much. It is perhaps there finally, the biggest progress.

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