There was a lot of excitement among 76er fans when the team traded Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, and Seth Curry to land James Harden. For Philly fans, they felt like they finally had a player alongside Joel Embiid who compliments his play and can offensively carry the team. Embiid himself was thrilled when Harden landed in Philly and had a lot of kind things to say about James Harden and his play.
After their first game together, Joel Embiid praised James Harden, saying that he had never had a game where he was so open in his career. Things were looking good for Philly:
Joel Embiid after Harden’s debut: "That was probably the most wide-open I've ever been in my career."
But after their second-round exit against the Miami Heat, Joel Embiid seems to have changed his tone toward James Harden, as he said in his post-game press conference that no one should expect James Harden to play as he did in Houston, as he is not that player anymore:
Joel Embiid tonight: "Everybody expected the Houston James Harden. But that’s not who he is anymore."
Could Embiid's comments be hinting at some dissension between the two superstars? Harden had yet another underwhelming playoff performance, as he scored just 11 points, and had just zero points in the fourth quarter.
Embiid wasn't that much better, as he had 20 points on 7-28 shooting. Embiid shot just 25% from the field and from the three-point line. The Miami Heat were comfortable the entire night against the 76ers.
Harden's future with the team remains to be seen. He is due for a new contract and could earn the max. But he did say that he is willing to take less money in order to allow the team to sign better players and build a solid team going forward. It will be an offseason to watch for the 76ers this year.