The Philadelphia 76ers make it to the semifinals of the Eastern Conference behind the night with big goals from their co-stars Joel Embiid and James Harden. Former NBA champion-turned-analyst-turned-analyst Shaquille O’Neal believes James Harden’s form will be crucial for the Philadelphia 76ers to progress in the postseason.
The Philadelphia 76ers finally lived up to the hype created in the first three games of the first round of the 2022 playoffs. They averaged 116 points per game in those matchups. But over the next 2 games, their point flow deteriorated as they were limited to around 95 points per game, resulting in brutal defeats. Although Joel Embiid tried hard to get her over the line, other stars’ poor shooting cost her quite a bit of Wild. But in Game 3, it was James Harden and Tyrese Maxey who rose with Joel Embiid en route to the conference semifinals.
According to Shaq, even though Joel Embiid is performing great in the games, James Harden’s performance will determine the results of future matchups. He emphasizes the role Harden would play in shaping the postseason for the 76ers.
Is James Harden the 76ers’ key to achieving championship dreams?
James Harden played just 21 regular-season games with the 76ers, averaging an impressive 21 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assists for the new team. Although the 32-year-old guard had some trouble with his shooting accuracy, he made a significant impression after the trade.
In 6-game streaks against the Toronto Raptors, he averaged 19 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds. In the close-out game, he added 22 points with a staggering 15 assists and fueled the team’s offense. Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal said: “James has played well (so far), today he played to par. Joe is Joe, MVP candidate, but you know James Harden is still the key you know. The better he plays, the further they get.”
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Joel Embiid made tremendous efforts to get into the playoff season, but the addition of James Harden gave the fringe title contenders an obvious shot at the NBA Finals. Playing a 7-game streak against top opponents is never easy for a lone superstar like Joel Embiid, but adding an experienced, efficient guard like James Harden certainly takes the pressure off.
Also, Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey had some great games in the regular season, but playoff encounters are different. As the postseason games progress, the opposing teams become tougher. It clearly requires the experienced, consistent, and elite marksman to deliver a dual attack alongside Joel Embiid.
Eastern Conference leaders Miami Heat will be one of the toughest tests for the Philadelphia team. With the Heat team reviewing their players’ injuries, Philadelphia can’t miss a chance to snag wins to reach the Conference Finals.
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https://firstsportz.com/nba-news-shaquille-oneal-believes-the-form-of-james-harden-is-key-for-the-sixers-run-in-these-playoffs/ “The better he plays, the better they get!” Shaquille O’Neal believes James Harden’s form is key to the Sixers’ run in this playoff