PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers made a big trade back in February to acquire James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Ben Simmons. Harden was expected to come in and help Joel Embiid contend for a championship and help the Sixers go deep in the playoffs.
When the team needed him most in Game 6 with the Miami Heat on Thursday, he vanished.
Harden had 11 points in the first half on Thursday and he looked like he was in a groove. However, his aggressiveness went away in the second half as he took only two shots in the second half in a 99-90 loss to end their season. He only took nine shots for the game.
After it was all over, Harden was asked what the Heat did to stymie him and bother him.
“Nothing,” he said. “Nothing.”
If it was just “nothing”, then why did he only take two shots in the second half in the biggest game of the year.
“We ran our offense,” Harden added. “I felt like the ball moved and it just didn’t get back to me.”
How does the ball not get to him? He is the point guard. He has also been an incredible scorer in his entire career. How does that happen?
“I don’t know,” said Embiid. “That’s his answer. You just gotta believe what he told you. I believe him. I don’t know.”
With that being said, coach Doc Rivers isn’t going to blame Harden for losing to the Heat in this series.
“I’m not gonna make this a referendum on James, OK?” Rivers added. “We just could’ve played better. The ball could’ve moved more. Did we have enough time to get our stuff in? I thought we did, honestly. I thought we really did, but clearly, we didn’t.”
This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!