Harden Recent Struggles

James Harden had another disappointing game in a huge match-up against the Phoenix Suns, and something just looks off with him. He is completely dialed into the game and is an excellent facilitator at all times, but he cannot seem to find an offensive rhythm. Every player goes through slumps with their jump shots from time to time so that is , the fact that he isn’t too alarming. However, the fact that he is struggling to create separation and blow by his defender is has everyone extremely worried. ‘

In the past several games, especially against playoff caliber teams, James Harden has struggled to beat his man one on one. Opposing teams are forcing him to his right hand, and Harden cannot explode by them on a consistent basis or create enough separation to get a clean look at the basket. Instead, he now drives to the paint with the sole intention of hoping to draw a foul because he is just trying to get in some type of shooting rhythm. It is not the same guy who was capable of dropping 50 points any given night.

Going Forward

Harden’s game has changed since his Rockets days and in many ways, that evolution has made him a better fit with Joel Embiid. Harden’s evolution into one of the best facilitators in the league makes him a dream partner with such a dominant big man. However, if he can no longer beat his man one on one consistently, the Sixers are right back to having to run everything through Embiid, and we have all seen how that works in the playoffs.

The Sixers cannot win a championship if James Harden continues to play like this and while it may seem like an overreaction to a slump but the playoffs are right around the corner. The Sixers only have eight games remaining this season and it would be a good bet to say that Harden and Embiid will sit out some games to rest up for the playoffs. That ,means Harden doesn’t have many games left this season to get right and start becoming that true dynamic offensive presence that everyone saw in the first couple games. Always will be a believer of great players overcoming adversity when their team needs them, just really hope were not back to Tobias Harris being the second option on offense again.

 

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