Top 3 skills of James Harden in Philadelphia

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“We can possibly consider Kobe and Shaq’s next release when it comes to Embiid and Harden!” –Kendrick Perkins

When this happened, you either felt exuberance or skepticism. James Harden became a 76er and the NBA world shook, the epicenter somewhere between Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Most likely, we can all say that we felt relief because we were free from Ben Simmons’ dilemma. Whether you like the trade or not, James Harden will team up with Joel Embiid as arguably the best inside-out duo in the league.

If he hadn’t had time to heal his hamstrings, Harden would have already played for the Sixers. Thanks to NBA All-Star Weekend, he had even more time to rest before his debut with the 76ers. My feeling is there was no need to rush him to play before the break, but the idea of ​​him playing alongside Embiid is just exciting and tempting to have him wearing a Sixers jersey. More than a few days…

What can we expect from the latest addition to the team? There are so many aspects to Harden’s game that it’s hard to pick a starting point. The accolades and numbers are just begging to start with his score. Yet, what about his passing? What about his ability to finish on the rim? The fact that he can pull off a triple double any night, making him a multi-faceted threat next to Embiid, is exciting.

The best starting point is the skill he brings to the table which has been sorely lacking as Simmons sat out this season for Philly. Let’s start with James Hardens’ ability to lead the point guard position and be a natural distributor for the Sixers.

James Harden’s Top 3 Skills With Sixers: Playmaking

To date, James Harden is second in the NBA in assists, delivering 10.2 per game. The only other player who averages more pennies is Chris Paul. Harden’s assist percentage (40.4), which is an estimate of a teammate’s field goal percentage that a player has assisted while on the field, is also impressive. He is ranked sixth in the NBA in this category and is only behind players like Trae Young, Luka Doncic, Chris Paul, Nikola Jokic and Dejounte Murray. Compared to who Harden replaced on the Sixers, Ben Simmons’ assist percentage is just 34.5 for his career.

The irony is that James Harden has played most of this season without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Imagine what he’ll do alongside NBA MVP favorite Joel Embiid? Imagine how many open looks his teammates will get thanks to Hardens’ playing ability? What could it look like every time he runs the offense?

In open court, we know that Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle can fly. A one-on-one pass from Harden, who himself threatens to score in transition, will benefit the Sixers’ two young stallions on the fast break. With Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz and Isaiah Joe racing towards the 3-point line, Harden will have options for a transition three every time he pushes the rock.

Then there is the half court game. As a distributor with excellent pitch vision, he’ll easily get Embiid the ball in the post, making sure his defender can’t overtake Embiid because Harden is such a perimeter threat. As he creates dribbling, Harden can numb defenders and allow cutters like Thybulle and Harris to make their moves while Embiid is a weak side threat. Of course, he will create open lines for point shooters like Danny Green and Georges Niang.

Remember when Harden was in Houston and his lob threat against Clint Capela was unstoppable? Well, when Harden is on the court with Paul Reed and Charles Bassey, we might see oops gone more often with any combination when they share the court. Embiid may not be getting up like he used to, but that doesn’t mean Harden won’t get the chance to throw lobs in a Sixers uniform.

Philadelphia fans wanted a point guard, didn’t they? Well, we have one now, and he’s developed his game to become more selfless with the ball and spread the wealth. Expect Harden to maintain his assist production in Philadelphia, but let’s now look at another way he will impact the game for the Sixers.