James Harden ready to take over as the big boss

Already limited by a ligament tear in the hand, Joel Embiid he is really sidelined for the first two games coming up against Miami, after a bad blow to the face and a very close fracture to the left eye in the first round against the Raptors.

Without their MVP potential, the Sixers therefore come more than ever as outsiders against Eastern Conference number 1, the Miami Heat, in the conference semifinals.

“I have to be more aggressive”

Because, if the two teams line up against each other in the regular season, with two wins each, the situation is completely different for this playoff duel. On the side of the Heat also, with a notable absentee, Kyle Lowry, and many others still “undecided” such as Tyler Herro, Markieff Morris and even Jimmy Butler.

For Philadelphia, regardless of the state of the forces present, we must keep moving forward. As during the season with the Covid episodes, “next man up” is so often heard on the NBA circuit.

“We arrive in this series without having changed our goals and our way of doing. We will be ready to play “Doc Rivers announced in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

To do this, Philly will rely James Harden, his great rookie of the season has arrived to replace Ben Simmons. Triple championship top scorer and MVP in 2018, James Harden has the opportunity to return the image of him in a pivotal role in the playoffs.

Slowed by his left thigh injury, the bearded man finished this year with his career low of 41% and 33% of 3 percentage points, shared between Brooklyn and Philly. Against the Heat he wants to prove that he is still one of the best players of his generation.

“I have to be more aggressive”, James Harden confirmed. “This is what I have done in the past. I am used to this role and I am happy with it. I will only take what the defense gives me by being aggressive and making the right decisions. The more spaces, the more you attack the circle. And we will play freely with the utmost collective confidence. “

“I sacrifice myself. I am first of all a team player “

Opposite, the Heat will meanwhile intend to extinguish James Harden as soon as possible in the series. There is no doubt that Erik Spoelstra’s staff will have prepared a shock treatment for the former Rockets, in the wake of what was reserved for Trae Young in the first round (15 points on average at 32% to the shots of the series) …

“They can do what they want. We will be ready. This is really what I think about it. ” sends Doc Rivers. “They’ll try to push us around and all that hard fake stuff. I’m still sick of this so-called toughness. We’re just on a basketball court, if you know what I mean. But we’ll be ready for anything.”

With Jimmy Butler’s expected return, plus Tyler Herro’s off the bench, the Heat should find their colors in attack. But nothing to worry too much about James Harden and his Sixers, who will find the very useful defensive services of Matisse Thybulle, without vaccination restrictions in Florida.

“Everything they do up front, they have to work for it”, assures James Harden. “They will have to overwhelm us. The positions taken on the low post on the transition, the small mistakes, the open shots for the shooters… If we can limit it and take these chances away, we will have a good chance of winning. “

Without the internal attraction that is Joel Embiid, the Sixers are sure to tend towards a more upbeat, outward-facing style with the incredible Tyrese Maxey moped. A style of play that could wear out a Heat, more used to playing in the middle of the court.

For James Harden, however, it will be primarily about setting the tone for aggression. Without Joel Embiid, he is the undisputed leader of his team. The ideal scenario for redemption?

“At this stage, you have to make sacrifices to win games. I have already given in the score. When I hit 30 points or more and we lose, people find something to complain about. When I make 19 points and we win, it’s something else again. At this point, you just have to do everything possible to win. I sacrifice myself. I am first of all a team player. Joel is wounded. I have to be more aggressive and score, go in circles and make good decisions. That’s what I’m used to in the end. “

James Harden Percentage It bounces
Season Squad GM Minimum Strokes 3 points LF Turned off def Soon pd party int bp CT Points
2009-10 THAT IS FINE 76 23 40.3 37.5 80.8 0.6 2.6 3.2 1.8 2.6 1.1 1.4 0.3 9.9
2010-11 THAT IS FINE 82 27 43.6 34.9 84.3 0.5 2.6 3.1 2.2 2.5 1.1 1.3 0.3 12.2
2011-12 THAT IS FINE 62 31 49.1 39.0 84.6 0.5 3.6 4.1 3.7 2.4 1.0 2.2 0.2 16.8
2012-13 HOO 78 38 43.8 36.8 85.1 0.8 4.1 4.9 5.8 2.3 1.8 3.8 0.5 25.9
2013-14 HOO 73 38 45.6 36.6 86.6 0.8 3.9 4.7 6.1 2.4 1.6 3.6 0.4 25.4
2014-15 HOO 81 37 44.0 37.5 86.8 0.9 4.7 5.7 7.0 2.6 1.9 4.0 0.7 27.4
2015-16 HOO 82 38 43.9 35.9 86.0 0.8 5.3 6.1 7.5 2.8 1.7 4.6 0.6 29.0
2016-17 HOO 81 36 44.0 34.7 84.7 1.2 7.0 8.1 11.2 2.7 1.5 5.7 0.5 29.1
2017-18 HOO 72 35 44.9 36.7 85.8 0.6 4.8 5.4 8.8 2.4 1.8 4.4 0.7 30.4
2018-19 HOO 78 37 44.2 36.8 87.9 0.9 5.8 6.6 7.5 3.1 2.0 5.0 0.7 36.1
2019-20 HOO 68 37 44.4 35.5 86.5 1.0 5.5 6.6 7.5 3.3 1.8 4.5 0.9 34.3
2020-21 * All teams 44 37 46.6 36.2 86.1 0.8 7.1 7.9 10.8 2.3 1.2 4.0 0.8 24.6
2020-21 * BRK 36 37 47.1 36.6 85.6 0.8 7.7 8.5 10.9 2.4 1.3 4.0 0.8 24.6
2020-21 * HOO 8 36 44.4 34.7 88.3 0.6 4.5 5.1 10.4 1.8 0.9 4.3 0.8 24.8
2021-22 * All teams 65 37 41.0 33.0 87.7 0.9 6.9 7.7 10.3 2.4 1.3 4.4 0.6 22.0
2021-22 * BRK 44 37 41.4 33.2 86.9 1.0 7.0 8.0 10.2 2.4 1.3 4.8 0.7 22.5
2021-22 * PHL 21 38 40.2 32.6 89.2 0.6 6.5 7.1 10.5 2.3 1.2 3.4 0.2 21.1
Total 942 35 44.2 36.1 86.0 0.8 4.8 5.6 6.8 2.6 1.5 3.8 0.5 24.9

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