James Harden has been one of the most impressive playmakers this season, and Joel Embiid is giving him recognition for the same.
This season, the Eastern Conference has been the most competitive it has been in a while. The top two teams who are fighting for that number one seed are the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. Both these teams are strong contenders to win the title this season.
Recently, these two powerhouses faced off against each other. Many analysts believe that the match was a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals. Embiid’s Sixers eventually prevailed 123-117 after staving off a late Nets fightback.
Embiid didn’t face Harden that game, but he still has some healthy respect for his rival. The Sixers big man talked about the Beard on Zach Lowe’s “The Lowe Post”:
“He’s had a big impact. The way things ended in Houston obviously, it was unfortunate, but I see that he has been dominant, carrying that Brooklyn team, being a point guard, and doing what’s needed to do, especially considering he has had to change his game in a lot of ways.”
“Going from taking all of 25-30 shots a game to just being a playmaker and actually being OK with it and actually doing a great job at it, I think he is doing a good job.”
Sixers All-Star Joel Embiid has played himself into the MVP conversation, and on Monday gave praise to another potential candidate in James Harden.https://t.co/TTRjo0iwEG
— Nets Nation (@NetsNationCP) April 19, 2021
How James Harden has powered Brooklyn to 2nd place in the East
James Harden’s exit from Houston was an ugly incident. However, with two other ball-dominant players – Kyrie and KD, on the Nets, people questioned how this move would benefit Harden and the team. On top of all the new acquisitions and changes in the roster, many injuries have riddled the team.
With 34 games with the Nets, James Harden has been absolutely terrific for his new team. Since the change in roles between Kyrie and James, the team has functioned better and won more.
Harden, who was the primary scorer and ball-dominant player at Houston, has accepted the role of a playmaker. The 9-time All-Star has averaged 25.4 points, 10.9 assists and 8 rebounds per game.
Since James Harden was traded to Brooklyn, Kyrie and KD have been sidelined with injuries quite a lot. Now, with only 15 games left in their regular season, James would help lead his team to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.