June 5, 2023

James Harden was the Missing Piece of the Puzzle


AP Photo/Stacy Bengs

The Philadelphia 76ers get the electrifying win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in James Harden’s debut. With a final score of 133-102, the Sixers get a 31 point win on the road. The big 3 in Embiid-Harden-Maxey, combined for 89 of the Sixers 133 total points. This was an absolutely beautiful game to watch.

James Harden couldn’t have asked for a better Sixers debut. The 10x All-Star put up 27 points to go along with 8 rebound and 12 assists. A little “fun” stat for you guys: James Harden had the same amount of threes in his debut (5), as Ben Simmons has in his entire career. The chemistry between Embiid and Harden is already amazing, and Harden’s chemistry with Maxey looked fantastic. We got to see Harden display his passing and IQ tonight, helping out the entire team. To put this in perspective, James Harden was +35 tonight, over 35 minutes. Absolutely outstanding performance from the beard.

James Harden made the job so much easier for Joel Embiid in a number of ways. Harden threaded the needle in a couple beautiful passes to the big-man in the post. As well as opening up the space on the court for the first time in Embiid’s career. In his post game interview, Embiid said that this was probably the most open he’s ever been in his NBA career. With the attention that Harden brings, it leaves Embiid plenty of room to operate. It wasn’t exactly a dazzling performance, butE Embiid still managed to record 34 and 10. This raised his PPG for the season to 29.7, keeping him at the top of the league in that category. By the end of the game, Harden and Embiid were just shooting 3’s and having fun while they were up 25+. It’ll be interesting to see how well this chemistry plays out for the rest of James Hardens’ Sixers career.

The presence of both Embiid and Harden left Tyrese Maxey wide open on multiple occasions. The 21 year old managed to score 28 points in spite of Embiid and Harden combining for 61. It’ll be incredible if these three can do this night-in and night-out. At the very least, we know it’s possible for these three to co-exist on the court and score at will. Harden set Maxey up on multiple occasions, already showing the chemistry that the 2 point guards have. It already seems like James Harden is a great mentor for a youngster like Tyrese Maxey. Under his mentorship, we could see Maxey blossom into an All-Star within the next 2 season.

This may have been the most fun i’ve ever had watching a Sixers game. It was amazing in every aspect. Isiah Joe hit a 3, Furk hit a 3, Milton hit a 3, EVERYBODY hit a 3. But most importantly, Harden helped EVERYONE on the court. Even up until the end of the 4th quarter they kept this game fun to watch. I’m so grateful that the Sixers got Harden, and I’m sure every other Sixers fan is too. Have a good one everybody, don’t forget to clap your hands for the 10,9,8,76ers!

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