James Harden’s Divergent Talent Perfectly Complements These NBA Playoffs

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That's why Sixers president Daryl Morey brought james harden for philadelphia, why Doc Rivers sent him a 7 minute gospel song Tasha Cobbs called out “You Know My Name” by Leonard before the 76ers' 116-115 overtime Game 4 victory over the Celtics on Sunday afternoon. Harden, at the peak of his powers, is still the devastating scorer who claimed MVP honors in Houston under Morey's previous roster tinkering and the playmaker held to pair with the Philadelphia brass. embied during all months of the 2021-22 season in which ben simmons The tread rests on the block.

It didn't matter that Sacramento had, according to sources, hired the future All-Star. Tyrese Halliburton at the proverbial table, nor conversation with the Atlanteans who used to shed tobias harrisSimmons' disinterest in sticking around in South Philly as well as the contract. even when dreamers like goals damian lillard And Bradley Beal Floating on the rumor mill, it was Harden that Morey first attempted to turn around and acquire Simmons when the Bearded All-Stars were coming off the Rockets, and it was Harden that the Sixers had long desired. until a deal with Brooklyn finally materialized earlier. Last February's trade deadline.

Harden's 42-point, 8-rebound, 9-assist masterpiece in Game 4, capped by his game-winning 3-pointer in the extra period, helped save this Sixers' season Afterwards Harden's 45 points in Game 1 set a playoff career high and clinched a crucial in Boston while Embiid suffered an unstable knee sprain. And yet, Harden's no-show, quiet walk in Games 2 and 3 prompted Rivers to ping Harden's phone with the inspirational tune as the point guard was on his way to the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers needing him so much. Yes, it was a big factor. Desperate to get out of a 2-1 hole against the Celtics. The looming threat of Harden's potential free-agent exit has put another degree of all-or-nothing postseason pressure on this Embiid era in Philadelphia.

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James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers plays for the crowd during the second half of Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series against the Boston Celtics on Sunday in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

League sources told Yahoo Sports that Harden's name and other potential summer targets were frequently mentioned during Houston's interview process with major coaching candidates, which led to the Rockets landing Ime Udoka. There are plenty of NBA figures, from those based in Houston who have overlapped with Harden in his 14-year career, to those talking about his possible reunion with the Rockets franchise. And then there are those who think it's an advantage for the Sixers to hold onto decision makers. You'll see Harden get a bear hug at a Sixers team gathering, when the All-NBA Center and Philadelphia's traveling party watched his MVP announcement last Tuesday in a hotel ballroom before Game 2. And there Harden was in Game 4, raising an open arm to a frenzied Philadelphia crowd, only to see their cheers grow louder and louder as he shouldered a Sixers offense — shocking the outside of Harden and Embiid. Vala was involved – wanted nothing to do with shooting during those crunchtime possessions against the charging Celtics, with the death knell of a 3-1 series deficit hanging in the balance.

devin bookerflamethrowing in Phoenix and Jimmy ButlerBoth of the determined efforts for Miami present strong cases for the most impressive performances of these playoffs. Harden's character arc may be the most compelling of any high-billing talent still left in this wide-open race for the NBA championship, where his past, present and future all seem to be on full display. His own post-season ghosts follow him wherever he dribbles the yo-yo, yet his history of offensive explosions still inspires fear and belief that Harden could strike an earthquake at any moment. Each game is a rare instance of what feels like watching an old competition on YouTube or a backlogged television show episode, knowing the fateful stakes on the horizon as the plot unfolds in real time.

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Harden's reported interest in rejoining Houston first surfaced when he was still part of Brooklyn's Big Three. Kevin Durant And Kyrie Nets officials were increasingly keen on his wandering eye for Philadelphia, as well as speculation that he could one day push for a return to Texas. Take any snapshot from this series against Boston, and an uninformed observer could possibly claim that Harden was either taken out of the fight, or could pick another that suggests Harden is on course to win his first title. Willing to do whatever it takes to claim Embiid, and Embiid alone, in front of these Philadelphia fans, where he sacrificed remarkable salary to create financial wiggle room to add to his likes pj tucker and other support.

In the Sixers' two wins against the Celtics, Harden combined for 87 points on 62% shooting from the field, including 13-of-23 from beyond the arc, while his output in the pair's loss to Philadelphia was just 28 on 18%. The number was Disappointing 2-13 from shooting and distance.

After a brutal Game 3 effort, Hardik spoke to reporters For just a few questions in your locker, with short answers. His post-win news conferences have been downright gleeful, with Harden scrolling through two phones on Sunday to find the exact song Rivers made his way to wearing a black, fuzzy bucket hat with “WAR” stitched in pink bubble letters. mess out. If you ignore the noise and you spotlight his peaks instead of his valleys, Harden is billing himself as Embiid's greatest co-star yet, and a true lifeblood of a scoring attack that has legitimate championships. reverses.

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The fact that we, and Boston, could see either side of this bearded ball-handler at any given time on any given night has left Philadelphia supporters with aching pains worried about this current playoff run and the future ahead. Sufficient variance has been provided for Harden can instill extreme confidence that this version of the Sixers starring Embiid can achieve a range no iteration has seen before. Perhaps that vicious swing of the scale is what the playoffs, the entertainment value of the modern NBA, and its dizzying player movement are, really, really all about.