Clumsy since his arrival at the Sixers, James Harden will be closely scrutinized for the first round against the Raptors. An elimination of Philadelphia would have a very bad effect, but the 2018 MVP assures that he is not under pressure.
“No pressure, no. I feel good « he replied when asked about the subject. « I’m ready to play basketball. There is nothing else. »
The last game against Toronto, where he finished with 13 points (3/12 shooting) but 15 assists, while Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby were not there, however, did not reassure Sixers fans.
With their size and scope, the Raptors have the means to disrupt « The Beard ».
“They move everywhere”details James Harden. “They are playing very hard. They rock the game. They have a lot of guys who are tall, athletic, long and solid in defense. They use their length very well and support each other. They’re running around, they’re scrambling and they’re constantly moving in defense, so for us it’s all about executing, making sure we’re accurate in our passes and taking our shots. »
But Joel Embiid, who knows he will be targeted by the Raptors, who will surely take him to two or three to force him to let go of the ball, knows he needs a hard-hitting James Harden in scoring.
“I tell him to be himself” explains the Cameroonian. “He’s done a great job as a playmaker, but we need him to be aggressive and score, especially against Toronto. Given how they’re defending on me, we’re going to need everyone. We’re gonna need Tyrese [Maxey] to be aggressive with all the attention that will be on me and James. Tyrese, Tobias [Harris], all the other guys, they have to create play. He just has to be himself, and not worry about people talking about pressure. Whatever happened in the past, you look at what he accomplished and what he did, he had to play against a dynasty (the Warriors). It would have been hard for anyone to beat those Golden State teams, so it was bad timing. But I’m sure everything will be fine. »
|2020-21 *||All Teams||44||37||46.6||36.2||86.1||0.8||7.1||7.9||10.8||2.3||1.2||4.0||0.8||24.6|
|2021-22 *||All Teams||65||37||41.0||33.0||87.7||0.9||6.9||7.7||10.3||2.4||1.3||4.4||0.6||22.0|