Joel Embiid and James Harden Called Out by Nick Nurse After Sixers Beat Raptors

James Harden, Joel Embiid

Getty James Harden and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers

After the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Toronto Raptors on March 31, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse singled out Sixers stars Joel Embiid and James Harden while talking with Ky Carlin of USA Today’s Sixers Wire, noting how much better they’ve become as a duo.

“I think that it just seems to have just solidified much more,” Nurse told Carlin. “I just think that certainly the combinations, numbers-wise, and just trying to figure out how to guard it and stuff is difficult when you’re an opposing coach, but it just seems like they’re just, I mean, that’s the word. They’re playing more solid.”

Nurse added that the familiarity between the two of them has helped them play consistently well this season.

“I think they know what, really, each one of them is going to do, and they just kind of do very similar output a lot of nights, so there’s a consistency there,” Nurse said. “So I think it just didn’t seem as solidified last year, but it does now.”

While praising Embiid, Nurse also added how Harden adds to how good the Sixers are offensively with the two of them.

“You got to worry about (Embiid) running you over and laying it in, you got to worry about him early post-up, you got to worry about each block on the post-up, you got to worry about him steamrolling down the lane on the pick-and-roll with Harden,” Nurse finished on Embiid. “Now he’s got this too and then also pick-and-pop for 3s, but the great players have all that stuff, and their coaches are smart enough to put them in all those actions.”

Jason Kidd Calls Joel Embiid One of the World’s Best Players

After the Sixers beat the Dallas Mavericks on March 29, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd praised how center JaVale McGee covered Embiid, but also added that Embiid’s skills as one of the league’s best players make him hard to cover from anywhere.

“Yeah, I thought he (JaVale McGee) did a good job,” Kidd said, per the Fanatics View YouTube channel. “Unfortunately, Embiid is one of the best players in the world, so the three and then the midrange, you gotta make him put it on the floor, but it’s easier said than done and so I thought JaVale did a good job.”

Jason Kidd Responds to Dallas Mavs Playoff Chances, Not All On Luka/Kyrie & Kyrie Irving LeadershipWatch as Jason Kidd Responds to Dallas Mavs Playoff Chances, Not All On Luka/Kyrie & Kyrie Irving Leadership (Post-Game, Dallas Mavs vs. Philadelphia 76ers) Don’t forget to Subscribe to Fanatics View on YouTube for more exclusive sports content: #LukaDoncic #DallasMavs #KyrieIrving Fanatics View’s other sports channels can be subscribed to here as well…2023-03-30T06:52:47Z

Sixers Warned of ‘Unavoidable’ Scenario

Since Christmas of last year, there’s been talk of Harden possibly leaving the Sixers to rejoin the Houston Rockets. Dan Favale of Bleacher Report commented on the rumors, saying that if Harden were to leave, the Sixers may have to rebuild, which could affect Embiid’s future as well.

“Rebuilding will be unavoidable if James Harden (player option) leaves over the summer to reunite with the Houston Rockets,” Favale wrote. “The real question: Would Philly be starting over with Joel Embiid, or would he ask for out?”

Embiid will enter the first year of a four-year extension next season, so the Sixers will have plenty of time to decide what they do next if Harden leaves for the Rockets, and while there have been plenty of rumors that Harden wants a reunion in Houston, it won’t be set in stone for several months.

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