Point of Emphasis for Sixers Star James Harden Revealed

Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden

Getty James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

Last season, the Philadelphia 76ers pushed all in on star power. Daryl Morey put an end to the Ben Simmons saga at the trade deadline by sending the disgruntled All-Star to Brooklyn in exchange for James Harden.

Despite being integrated on the fly, the former MVP had an instant impact on the Sixers. In his first 21 games, he averaged 21.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 10.5 APG. While his playoff performance was up-and-down, the new star duo showed the potential to lead a contender. 

In preparation for his first full season in Philly, Harden has been training diligently. With an improved supporting cast, the Sixers are in a prime position to compete for a title in 2023.

If the Sixers are going to fulfill their championship aspirations, they will need their star duo of Joel Embiid and Harden to step up. When listing areas of improvement for players next season, Bleacher Report’s Mo Dakhil cited locking in for the All-Star point guard.

The Sixers’ season ended on a real sour note and a lot of fingers were pointed at James Harden. There is not a skill the former MVP needs to improve on but he simply needs to be better.

Harden will need to find the balance of his scoring and when to get his teammates involved. The Sixers have a ton of talented players headlined by two-time MVP runner up Joel Embiid, young upstart Tyrese Maxey and the skilled Tobias Harris. Understanding who to get involved with and when is what Harden needs to do.

In the Sixers’ 12 playoff games last year, Harden averaged 18.6 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 8.6 APG while shooting 40.5% from the floor.

James Harden is Under The Most Pressure For Sixers

Over the past few years, a negative narrative has surrounded James Harden. First, his playing for multiple teams has led to critics questioning how invested he is on the basketball court. Then, when nagging injuries caught up to Harden, chatter started on Father Time beginning to catch up to him.

This summer, Harden has proven how committed he is to winning. Along with taking a $15 million pay cut for the betterment of the team, he put in work to make sure he is 100% physically. Following his busy summer, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley feels Harden is one of the Sixers under the most pressure heading into 2023.

Still, regardless of how the campaign plays out, all eyeballs will be on the Beard come playoff time. His rocky postseason resume would be thrown out the window if he has a huge postseason run and contributes to a championship. If not, this might do permanent damage to his legacy.

James Harden Ready to Answer The Call

Contrary to the narrative around him, James Harden has made his intentions clear. He understands the opportunity he has with the Sixers and doesn’t plan on letting it go to waste. Alongside Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, Harden is ready to chase the championship ring that has eluded him his entire career.

While posting more photos of him working out, the Sixers star sent a subtle message to the basketball world. “It’s a long story I been busy working,” he Tweeted.

Armed with one of the best rosters he’s ever been on, Harden will have an opportunity to cement his legacy.

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