James Harden Issues Strong Statement on Joel Embiid After Sixers Beat Trail Blazers

James Harden and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Getty James Harden and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.

It’s no secret that the Philadelphia 76ers have serious title hopes this season. When you have a player of Joel Embiid’s caliber, you should be competing for a championship. And so far this season, Embiid has shown why he’s one of the best basketball players on the planet.

He made that fact known once again on Friday night in the 76ers’ win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Embiid nailed what would eventually be the game-winning shot with just seconds remaining, earning Philadelphia their fourth win in a row. After the contest, James Harden sent a strong message about his star teammate.

“That’s why he’s the MVP,” Harden said via Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

For the third-straight season, Embiid finds himself fully engrossed in the MVP race. Unfortunately for him and the Philly faithful who want to see him bring home the trophy, there are some other deserving candidates. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics all have solid cases as well.

But for Embiid and the 76ers, a championship is the only goal. Winning an MVP award along the way would undoubtedly be the cherry on top for Embiid, but the gold he’s truly after is the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

And while his game-winning shot will be the highlight that makes headlines for days, he played well for the entire game. In Philadelhpia’s win over Portland, Embiid ended the night with a game-high 39 points to go along with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three blocks on 13-of-20 shooting from the field.

Kendrick Perkins Defends Joel Embiid’s MVP Case

Harden and the city if Philadelphia aren’t the only ones who believe Embiid should be the NBA MVP this season. Former Celtic and current ESPN media personality Kendrick Perkins also shares that belief. He recently took to Twitter to campaign for Embiid to take home the award, declaring that it’s a shame he’s not getting more love.

“39 points in 28 minutes!!!! That’s what Joel ‘The Philly’ Embiid had tonight! It’s a d*** shame that certain individuals are going to continue to IGNORE what this man is doing!!! Don’t mind me tho and Carry on…,” Perkins tweeted.

Tobias Harris Shows Love to PJ Tucker

In other news, PJ Tucker has had a relatively up-and-down season for the 76ers this year, but his teammate, Tobias Harris, recently came to his defense.

“When anybody talks about the points scored is an idiot just because there isn’t much opportunity for him to go out and average eight or nine points. The man shoots the ball two times a game, so that’s a (expletive) claim.,” Harris said via Ky Carlin of SixersWire.

Harris also made sure to emphasize the fact that Tucker’s impact stretches far beyond the box score.

“He’s a guy who’s a winner, and every big game we’re in, those big teams and games that we play that felt like playoff environments, he’s out there making an impact,” Harris explained. “That’s where his game shines the most and also, just him being a vocal guy on this team, a leader, he’s the anchor to our defense, he can guard 1 through 5, he sacrifices offensively.”

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