James Harden couldn’t contain Joel Embiid in the first round of the playoffs and it cost the Rockets a 3-2 series lead. The scene was set for one hellish Game 6, but James was handed another wake up call that he’ll have to take with him into next season by getting embarrassed on national television.
The “James Harden Receives Harsh Wake-Up Call From Joel Embiid After Another Playoff Disaster” is a story about the Houston Rockets star and his teammate, Joel Embiid. The story talks about how James Harden was not able to get past the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs. Read more in detail here: who does james harden play for.
The Philadelphia 76ers seemed to be on their way to the second round after taking a three-game lead over the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. After losing two consecutive games in humiliating ways only a few days later, the Sixers are on their way to being the first team in NBA history to squander a 3-0 lead.
Despite playing over 40 minutes in Game 5, James Harden only took 11 shots while scoring 15 points and looking nothing like his former self. Joel Embiid slammed Harden with a hard wake-up call after the game, which will either encourage the 10-time All-Star or sink his confidence even more.
In the 76ers’ lifeless Game 5 defeat, James Harden disappoints again again.
In Game 4, the Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden stands beside Joel Embiid | Cole Burston/Getty Images
When the 76ers acquired Harden at the NBA trade deadline, they expected to get an exceptional scorer who would relieve Embiid of offensive load and help the club go into the second round for the first time. Early on, he seemed like that player, but his performance hasn’t carried over to the playoffs.
Harden is averaging 18.4 points and shooting 37.3 percent from the field in five playoff games. Even in mismatches, the once-unstoppable offensive powerhouse has failed to beat defenders off the dribble, and his rim finishing has been terrible.
Harden’s self-assurance is eroding with each passing game. He seemed indifferent in pushing the Raptors at the rim in Philadelphia’s 103-88 defeat in Game 5. Instead of throwing up a floater or attempting to draw a foul, he chose to kick the ball out to shooters even when he had open chances in the paint. The 32-year-old hit just four of his 11 shots, and his 15 points weren’t quite enough to keep the Sixers in the game.
If the 76ers are going to win this series, Harden will have to be much more aggressive and efficient on the attacking end.
James Harden gets a nasty wake-up call from Joel Embiid.
Harden’s play in Game 5 was obviously unsatisfactory to Embiid. He delivered a brutally honest appraisal of what Harden has to do to help the Sixers flourish after the defeat. He even took a jab at Doc Rivers, the team’s head coach.
“I’ve been preaching all season that he has to be aggressive and be himself,” Embiid said to reporters, according to ESPN. “It’s not really my job to do that.” Coach should certainly speak with him and urge him to take more shoots, particularly if they’re going to defend me as they have been. But it isn’t my responsibility.”
Sheesh. It’s a two-for-one smear.
Embiid acknowledged the team as a whole hasn’t been executing on offense, even though he singled out Harden.
“However, offensively, we all need to improve,” he continued. “We squandered a number of wide-open opportunities.” When I was being doubled, I felt like we were simply inviting, and we weren’t really attacking the ball. We simply kept moving the ball around the perimeter, giving them time to recover, which is why we couldn’t get anything out of it.”
Part 2 of Ben Simmons?
In the Sixers-Raptors series, James Harden’s statistics are as follows:
22 PTS – 5 REBS – 14 ASTS – 35.3% FG 14 PTS – 6 REBS – 6 ASTS – 33.3% FG 19 PTS – 6 REBS – 10 ASTS – 52.8% FG 22 PTS – 5 REBS – 9 ASTS – 29.4% FG 15 PTS – 2 REBS – 7 ASTS – 36.3% FG pic.twitter.com/FNv7lEEmJK
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 26, 2022
Embiid’s words were obviously intended to encourage Harden to be more aggressive with the ball in his hands, rather than to dismiss him. But if he’s not cautious, the great center might end up in a predicament similar to Ben Simmons’.
Simmons was so upset by Embiid’s remarks that he swore to never play for the 76ers again. Harden has already left two teams in a 13-month stretch, and he could easily do the same with the Sixers this summer.
Harden’s task should be easier for Embiid to handle than Simmons’.
Basketball Reference provided all stats.
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