The stage was perfectly set up for James Harden to perform and prove to the world that he is not past his prime. The Beard featured in Game 1 of the second round playoffs against the Chicago Bulls as the Philadelphia 76ers lost 106-92 as Harden was once again underwhelming. The Sixers needed Harden to be at his best, especially in Joel Embiid’s absence.
Harden came up with 16 points, five assists and nine boards in 35 minutes of the game. He was outscored by both Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. The sixth man of the year Tyler Herro was the star performer for the Miami Heat as she dropped 25 points from the bench to end up as the game’s highest scorer. He also recently won the Sixth Man of the year to add to the joy of winning Game 1 against the Sixers.
However, after the defeat, the Sixers and especially Harden was slammed by NBA experts. Skip Bayless criticised the superstar point guard and raised questions on whether he is a superstar anymore with this kind of performance on a playoffs night.
On Fox Sports’ morning show ‘Skip and Shannon: Undisputed’, co-host Bayless shared how Harden was just underwhelming in the entire game but more so in the second half. He said,” He hid, he ran from the ball, he just tried to hide behind picks and it was hard to watch. It was unwatchable because he was unfindable in the second half. James Harden is officially washed. He’s unfixable, he’s unredeemable, he’s unsalvageable because he is not going to get suddenly any younger. It just looks to me like he just flat-out hit the wall. The age wall where he is not taking care of himself.”
James Harden ever since coming from the Brooklyn Nets started off really well in Philadelphia but suddenly before the playoffs he lost form and the struggle has continued since then. He is considered one of the greatest scorers of the game and an offensive beast who is now struggling to get shots away as Skip Bayless feels he is gradually fading away due to several concerns starting with injuries.
James Harden only has one way to prove his doubters wrong by coming up with a big performance in Game 2 against the Miami Heat as the Sixers need to come back into the series and without their talisman Joel Embiid it looks majorly difficult. The Beard needs to get back to his element quickly or they may see the hopes of Championship slipping away.