The Philadelphia 76ers entered the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs as one of the strongest teams in the East.
They seemingly confirmed that with a big win against the Boston Celtics in Game 1, but things have taken a turn for the worse since that moment.
James Harden showed up and showed out in the first duel of the series, dropping 45 points.
Nevertheless, things have not gone well since. Harden’s shooting percentage has taken a major hit in Games 2 and 3.
James Harden is shooting 17.9% since his huge performance in Game 1 😳 pic.twitter.com/V9JwjSuR9l
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 6, 2023
The Sixers are now down 2-1 against the Celtics following a 114-102 loss at Wells Fargo Center.
Harden barely scored 16 points, shooting 3-14 from the field and making only two 3-pointers on seven attempts.
Harden has scored 28 in two games after dominating the C’s in the first duel of the series.
Joel Embiid is seemingly frustrated over this situation, taking a subtle jab at Harden for his recent performances.
“I think players have to show up. I’ve got to do my job. Everybody knows their role. They’ve got to do their job. I think that’s on us. I’ve got to be better. We’ve all got to be better”
-Joel Embiid had 30 points.
No other Sixer had more than 16https://t.co/l8R9eVEQNW
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) May 6, 2023
It’s been said before, if the Sixers aspire to win something this season, they need Harden at his best level.
Many people think Embiid’s presence hurts Harden’s game, but that’s something they need to work on.
The Sixers remain strong candidates to come out of the East this season, but they need to do better in Game 4.
Harden must get it together and show that he can be the same guy he was in Game 1.
Depending on how this season ends, there are rumors that he could return to the Houston Rockets.NEXT: Photo Shows Joel Embiid Getting Emotional Friday Night