NBA Reporter Gets Brutally Honest About James Harden’s Struggles With 76ers

James Harden, 76ers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Philadelphia 76ers are headed into the NBA Playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Led by Joel Embiid and James Harden, many believe that the team could make a deep run in the postseason. However, there have been some major concerns about the struggles that Harden has had to close out the season.

Harden is still a very dangerous scorer, but he appears to have lost a step this season. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen come playoff time.

One NBA reporter, Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice, got brutally honest about Harden’s struggles. He did not hold back in his assessment of the 76ers’ superstar.

“Everyone watching the Sixers can see the same thing right now. James Harden does not have the lift, the burst, the speed that he used to have, and it is impacting the way he goes about his business. The underlying skills that made him a star and the basketball intellect are still there. The tools that help maximize those gifts have faded, though, and it is tough to get around that building the best version of this specific Sixers team.”

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Basically, the bottom line of this whole statement is that Harden has lost his athleticism. Harden relieved heavily on that athleticism and burst to get to the rim and draw fouls. It also doesn’t help that the NBA has cracked down on calling the kind of fouls that Harden has been able to draw over the years.

During the 21 games that he played with the 76ers after the trade, Harden averaged 21.0 points per game to go along with 10.5 assists and 7.1 rebounds. He shot 40.2 percent form the floor and knocked down just 32.6 percent of his three-point attempts.

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Obviously, those numbers show that he can still contribute at a high level. The main concern is whether or not he can produce consistent high numbers in a pressure packed situation like the playoffs. The 76ers need to be hoping that he can.

James Harden is still a very good basketball player, but the brutally honest truth is that he has lost a step. That could come back to him as he continues to stay healthy, but for now, there are major reasons for concern in the NBA Playoffs.

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