The Philadelphia 76ers’ drought of not making it to the Eastern Conference Finals will live on for at least another season.
It was a close game in the first half, but they just couldn’t keep that same intensity up vs. the Boston Celtics, who rallied to beat them by a huge margin.
And while most of the team struggled throughout the game, James Harden’s performance was definitely not his best.
That’s why Stephen A. Smith even asked him to shave his beard to hide his identity after that game, calling him just ‘awful.’
Stephen A. Smith:
"James Harden was so awful, so bad, he should actually shave his beard so he can hide his identity. That's how bad he was. It was really, really bad. I say that in all seriousness."
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 15, 2023
Harden finished the game with just nine points, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and one block.
He shot 3-for-11 from the field, 1-for-5 from beyond the arc, and only had a couple of free throws.
He also turned the ball over five times and didn’t take a single shot in the fourth quarter despite being on the floor for 40 minutes.
That was the third consecutive game in which Harden didn’t even take a shot in the final 12 minutes of the game, and while a lot of that could be credited to Doc Rivers’ coaching, his lack of aggressiveness in close-out games has also been a talking point for years now.
Notably, this might also be the end of the run for Harden in Philadelphia.
There have been plenty of rumors about him wanting to head back to Houston, and he’s not going to be much of a fan favorite in Philly after this subpar performance.NEXT: Joel Embiid Reacts To 76ers' Game 7 Loss To Celtics