Formation of the Sixers led by James Harden?


James Harden leads #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers (right) and Wesley Matthews #23 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center on October 20, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

James Harden’s days at the helm of an NBA team may not be over. For the second game in a row, Harden led the Philadelphia 76ers in scoring with a 30-plus-point effort and played a pivotal role in the team’s survival in the game. Over the season’s opening two games, the former MVP had a combined 66 points, 16 rebounds, and 16 assists. He also hooked 22 out of 38 field attempts (57.9%) and hit 6-16 (37.5%) in three-point attempts.

During last night’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Harden was forced into a starring role due to the massive struggles Joel Embiid had. The runner-up for the tournament’s best player struggled to find his flow during the match and looked noticeably sluggish on both ends of the field. Embiid finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and an ugly shot 6-21 from the field. If Harden couldn’t answer the call, the Sixers were pretty well blown out in the match.

Mid-range maestro hardening?

There are several highlights from Harden’s playing during the first two games. Perhaps the biggest was adding a mid-range jump shot to his game. During two games, Harden fired 11-15 in mid-range attempts. While that’s not a rate to expect, he’ll be on track to make 615 mid-range attempts per season. In contrast, Harden fired only 220 attempts from mid-range last season.

During the match against the Bucks, this was shown privately. So far throughout his Sixers career and his life in the NBA in general, Harden’s playing impact has largely depended on whether or not his three-point attempts fall back. The former MVP was only 1-7 on three throws but he managed to get his fingerprints all over the game. Harden’s nine shots were mid-range What to call him more In the game his entire career.

Whereas the midrange has traditionally been a snapshot Analytics criticizes him, when you call Harden’s rate (73.3% on the season), it can’t be contested. Adding this to his arsenal to use when the triple indicator hasn’t fallen out is very valuable. It also limits the wear and tear on its body that occurs when the edge is attacked through contact.

Credit hardening to his health

The star was asked if the mid-range was an area of ​​his game that he focused on during off-season training. Harden specifically downplayed this and instead referred to the return of his general health and allowing him to focus on all areas of his game. as such put it“I’m a workaholic so not being able to put the work down as I normally do was frustrating… This ability to record and all this other stuff doesn’t come without work. You know what I mean? And as much as people want to talk about all the other things that It doesn’t really matter, I’m a workaholic and I love being in the gym and I love playing basketball.”

Also during a post-game interview, he reiterated how true he felt to start the season. He was asked if he feels he has used his strength more to start the season. Harden didn’t think that was the case and advertiser, “I can move now.” The eye test matches his claims as a new blast is back in his game.

The Sixers still have ways to go until they find their step as a team. This version of James Harden is very exciting to see, but Doc Rivers must find a way to make it on the same page as the other star of the team, too. If Embiid and Harden can start clicking together, the sky will be the limit for this Sixers. But for now, they started the year with consecutive losses.


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