Much of the predictions for the Philadelphia 76ers’ season can be attributed to the release of James Harden appearing on the field. There were in-depth discussions throughout the vacation regarding Harden’s level of fitness, his share of the salary cap, and his overall suitability on the list. While there were high expectations from the second he made to Philadelphia, Harden played just 21 games in the regular pre-season and post-season. With a full season to gain health and a clearer role on the field, there is reason to be optimistic about his performance moving forward.
The former MVP has also opened up about his burgeoning relationship with backcountry partner Therese Maxi. Harden points out how Maxey’s flashy character often forces him to play the role of “bad cop.” He put it when Talk to the media After Monday’s training, “I’m probably as mean as the mean guy on the court as our team is [goes]. It’s so cute, man. He just smiles. It’s like, Teress, she got mad once in a while.”
Maxi and Harden’s relationship
Maxi couldn’t ask for a much better player to learn from than Harden when looking at his long-term potential in the NBA. the two tied around the off-season to exercise Maxi has already talked about how much he has learned from all 10 stars.
Harden may be at a point in his career where he’s ready to start passing the torch, but Maxi deserves it. While it is hoped that there are still some throwbacks in the cards this season, his primary role is certainly playmaker in this Sixers offense. This remains a major point of need as both Maxey and Joel Embiid saw their scoring averages increase last season following Harden’s arrival in Philadelphia.
He also seems to be taking his leadership more seriously outside of court, too. Harden organized a few team activities during the holiday season on and off the field. He continued to talk about Maxi taking advantage of his angry side during his last media session. as harden put it“You’re not under the radar no more. People know how great you are now and your potential. People will start pushing you and I don’t want to see you smiling any more.”
Valid in back court
Embiid will definitely be a cornerstone of the Sixers, and it will be up to Maxey and Harden to provide the rear-zone production needed for the competitor. Early signs last season showed success. After Harden’s arrival in Philadelphia, Maxi was relieved of playmaking responsibility forced to start the season and was able to play A more natural role as a scorer.
While playing base guard position before making the trade to Harden, Maxey Average 16.9 points per game when shooting 46.9% from the field and 39.0% on triple attempts. Slipping into an off-the-ball turn after Harden’s arrival, Maxey saw his numbers grow to 18.7 points per game while shooting 52.3% from the field and 48.0% on three-pointers. In the playoffs, he Average 20.8 points per game despite the three-point percentage dropping to 37.7% which is still above the NBA average.
The growth in trust and familiarity with one another is the biggest reason for optimism surrounding this back-to-back duo. It will be interesting to see exactly how the Sixers’ offside order vibrates but it’s clear that both players will play a huge role in the Sixers’ success.
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