After acquiring James Harden at the trade deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers hoped this would finally be the year they get through the Eastern Conference and play in the NBA Finals.
Instead, for the fourth time in five years, Philadelphia saw its season come to an end in the second round, losing 99-90 to the Miami Heat. Harden was a factor in the first half, but completely disappeared when it mattered in the entire second half. He only shot the ball two times in the second half, having put up nine shots total and scored just 11 points.
That led Joel Embiid to say the 76ers did not get the version of Harden that won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award, and finished in the top three in voting three other times.
“Since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden,” Embiid said. “But that’s not who he is anymore. He’s more of a playmaker. I thought, at times, he could have been, as all of us could have been, more aggressive. All of us whether it was Tyrese [Maxey] or Tobias [Harris] or guys coming off the bench.
“And I’m not just talking about offensively. I’m talking about you know, as a whole offensively and defensively. I didn’t think we were good defensively as a team. They took advantage of a lot of stuff that we tried to do defensively. And then offensively just really everybody being on the same page, obviously, only having probably what, three or four months to all work together and try to figure it out. Maybe it wasn’t a lot of time. … I don’t think we played our best basketball.”
The Heat successfully ran them off the court twice in a row to close things out after Philadelphia had won Games 3 and 4 here at Wells Fargo Center to even the series. It was truly an embarrassing way for their season to end.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.