Sixers Stars Joel Embiid and James Harden Make History Together

James Harden, Joel Embiid

Getty James Harden and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers

In their first full season as teammates on the Philadelphia 76ers, stars Joel Embiid and James Harden accomplished a feat that has not been done in over four decades. Tom Ignudo of CBS Sports reported the feat the two of them accomplished as a pair.

“Embiid and Harden became the first teammates in the NBA to be the scoring champ and assists leader since George Gervin and Johnny Moore did with the San Antonio Spurs in the 1981-82 season,” Ignudo said.

Embiid led the 2022-23 season in scoring by averaging 33.1 points per game, beating out the likes of Dallas Mavericks‘ superstar Luka Doncic, who came second behind Embiid, as he averaged 32.4 points a game, and Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard, as he averaged 32.2 points a game.

Harden led the 2022-23 season in assists by averaging 10.7 assists per game, beating out the likes of Atlanta Hawks superstar Trae Young, who came second behind Harden, as he averaged 10.2 assists a game, and Denver Nuggets MVP candidate Nikola Jokic, as he averaged 9.8 assists a game.

This is the second consecutive year in which Embiid has led the league in scoring, having averaged 30.6 points a game last season. Harden has led the league in assists only one other time before, averaging 11.2 assists during the 2016-17 season back when he was with the Houston Rockets.

Erik Spoelstra Praises Joel Embiid-James Harden Duo

After the Miami Heat blew out the Sixers on April 6, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talked about how playing a full season together helped Embiid and Harden grow as a duo.

“More continuity, more time together,” Spoelstra said, per Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “People think you can put together teams, and it’s automatically going to work. You have to take time and work through a lot of different things that a long NBA season can provide you.”

Embiid and Harden only had a few months to gel together as a pairing after the Sixers acquired Harden from the Brooklyn Nets last season. As evidenced by them accomplishing a feat that hadn’t been done for decades, the two showed how good they are together.

Tyrese Maxey Sounds Off on Playing as Duo’s Third Banana

While talking with Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sixers third-year guard Tyrese Maxey reflected on what it’s like to be the third banana next to Embiid and Harden.

“Even when I miss, I can’t get timid,” Maxey told Mizell. “I can’t get scared. Being out there with Jo and James, Tobias [Harris], those guys cause a lot of attention, and they need space. They need people to knock down shots. They need people to shoot shots extremely fast and get them off.”

Head coach Doc Rivers revealed to Mizell what he encourages Maxey to do when he’s on the floor next to their star duo.

“What I tell him is, ‘Don’t think. Just go be aggressive. I want me to tell you to stop shooting, not me ever to tell you to shoot,’” Rivers said.

Maxey also talked about the impact of having someone like Embiid express his faith in Maxey.

“When the best player in the world, probably, believes in you,” Maxey said, “and you believe in yourself, you’re good against the world.

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