Joel Embiid: «Everyone expected James Harden from Houston, but it’s not him anymore»

Has James Harden been the biggest individual title disappointment of the current playoffs? Can be. In the time he’s been in Philadelphia, sticking to the regular season, he wasn’t too bad; What’s more, it was easy to think that he wasn’t pushing hard in order to reach the postseason in top form. Well, not only has this not been the case, but when the moment of truth arrives, he has tiptoed past.

We can say without fear of being wrong that they have been his worst playoffs since he arrived in Houston in 2012. It is the first time since then that he has not reached 20 points per night, staying at 19.3, and he has been at 40.3 per cent in field goals, his worst mark since 2014. Regarding his scoring ability, it is true that last season he was already at 20.2 points on average, but let’s remember that against the Bucks he literally played lame. On this occasion, with no known physical problems, much more was expected.

That is as much the general feeling as the one they have in Philadelphia. The boss in the 76ers, Joel Embiid, has not held his tongue when it comes to evaluating the performance of his teammate. The center admits that when he landed on the team, everyone believed they would have another version of La Barba.

«Obviously, I’m sure that since we got his services, everyone expected James Harden from Houston, but it’s not him anymore. He is more of a playmaker. I thought, sometimes, like all of us, that he could have been more aggressive », he comments to the media after being eliminated by Miami 4-2.

The truth is that the sixth game against the Heat has been especially bloody. 11 points and 9 assists is a very poor performance for the only MVP on the court. Harden didn’t make a single basket in the second half, making just two shots from the field. It is a very hard way to close the season when there is already talk of the option that the Pennsylvania organization offers him to renew for less than the maximum salary.

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)