Sixers discuss how James Harden can be aggressive on offensive end

CAMDEN, N.J. — After the Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 on Monday, Joel Embiid said he wanted James Harden to get aggressive on the offensive end. Embiid added it wasn’t really his job to do that, and it was on the coaching staff to get it done.

As the Sixers returned to work on Wednesday at practice, coach Doc Rivers was asked what he and the rest of the team can do to get Harden going again on the offensive end.

“We need James, but it’s not just scoring for us with James, it’s just playing,” Rivers explained. “We showed him, he had the ball a ton. The most minutes in possession than anyone on our team by a longshot, but we got to be better at doing something with that and being more organized, having better space. With James, you got to work on spacing every day just so he can have the driving lanes and we’re doing that.”

Harden is averaging only 18.4 points per game in this series while shooting 37.3% from the floor. He only took 11 shots in Game 5, and that’s a problem when the Raptors are sending constant aggressive doubles toward Embiid every game.

“It’s easier than it used to be because he’s playing with better players,” Rivers added. “So James doesn’t have the ball in his hand every time like he would in Houston because he was the guy. Joel’s the guy. So that takes the ball out of James’ hands at times. James when he has it, he’s still looking for Joel at times. So that’s the misleading part.”

Fair point by Rivers, but the Sixers need him to take more than 11 shots in a closeout game at home. That can’t happen. Especially, with the way the Raptors defend Embiid. Philadelphia needs him to be much more assertive on Thursday in Game 6.

“Whenever you get a team that’s better than the team you come from, you’re not gonna get as many shots as you had,” Rivers finished. “I don’t get lost in that, but I do say is, we’ve got to get James to be more aggressive and we got to put them in the spots for him to do that.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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