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Joel Embiid Says James Harden Isn’t the Same As When He Was With Rockets

Prior to James Harden joining the 76ers, Joel Embiid had aspirations of competing for an NBA championship with a superstar guard in town. When Harden joined the squad, it seemed as if the missing piece to the championship-caliber team had arrived. Harden’s offensive prowess had driven the Rockets close to championships multiple times, but had never gotten over the hump.

However, after Miami eliminated Philadelphia with a 99–90 Game 6 win on Thursday, Embiid told reporters that fans may have to adjust to the way they view Harden in the 76ers’ offense.

“Obviously, I am sure since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden but that’s not who he is anymore,” Embiid said. “He is more of a playmaker.”

To Embiid’s point, Harden averaged the most points per game of his career, both in the regular season (36.1 points per game) and in the playoffs (31.6 ppg), during his time with the Rockets. With Philly, Harden averaged career low shooting percentages and just 21 points per contest.

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Harden’s closest resemblance to the Houston version of himself came in Game 4 when he exploded for 31 points.

Other than brilliant performance, the 32-year-old failed to show up in the moments where it mattered the most.

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