James Harden getting more comfortable playing with Sixers’ Joel Embiid
The Philadelphia 76ers acquired James Harden at the trade deadline in 2022 with the idea he and Joel Embiid would team to lead the franchise to the title it so desperately craves.
After a few bumps in the road, it appears the two have really nailed down their two-man game on the offensive end.
The Sixers have won the first two games of their road trip by just one point. That means their execution down the stretch on the offensive end has been on point mostly due to the play of Harden and Embiid in the pick-and-roll.
“A lot more,” Harden told reporters of his chemistry with Embiid. “There’s opportunities where I felt like he had easy layups if he comes with me. Their big man was doing a really good job of just trying to bait me, so I get closer to the rim and he comes.”
Harden said this after the win over the Utah Jazz. He wants Embiid to be in a better position.
“Joel had an opportunity for easy six or eight more points, but he just wasn’t in the vicinity,” Harden continued. “So just conversations that we talk about that. Hopefully, next game, and just game after that, we continue to get better but yeah, our chemistry is much, much better.”
Harden has played with some elite superstars in his career. He’s played with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, but there isn’t a player like Embiid who can do it all with the size that he has.
“He’s just so dominant and versatile to where I’m sure he’s never played with a playmaker like me,” Harden continued. “It’s just constant communication to where he hasn’t probably rolled this much before, and I haven’t had a big that pops like that so it’s just constant communication to where if we see something play by play, we just talk about it, we try to execute, get a good shot, and just keep going.”
The chemistry between the two stars will build only from communication between the two. The Sixers will need both to continue talking and grow as a pairing.
“That just continues to build up and add up to where when you get to the postseason, we’ve literally seen everything so we know we’re on the same page,” Harden finished. “We know what to expect. We know what to do.”
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