PHILADELPHIA–When the Philadelphia 76ers acquired James Harden at the deadline back in February, they weren’t exactly getting the healthiest version of The Beard.
Harden had been dealing with a hamstring issue with the Brooklyn Nets, which hampered him the rest of the way after the trade. He shot only 40.2% from the floor and 32.6% from deep with the Sixers after the trade and in his first full season in Philadelphia, he missed time with a right foot tendon strain.
In 16 games since he’s returned from the injury, Harden is averaging 21.6 points, 11.6 assists, and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 43.3% from the floor and 39.7% from deep. As he progresses through the season for the Sixers, this is probably the healthiest he has been since arriving in the City of Brotherly Love.
“I thought right before the camp was great, but now I think he’s moving great, he feels good, he’s running the floor with pace for sure,” said coach Doc Rivers. “When we play at a pace, we’re really good, and when he does it, he’s the key to it.”
Harden has recorded a triple-double in each of his last two games, both wins over the Detroit Pistons. While the opponent isn’t exactly impressive considering the Pistons are a struggling rebuilding team who is also dealing with injuries, there is no doubt that he looks to be moving better than he has since his early days with the Nets.
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