James Harden joined the Philadelphia 76ers after a huge trade at the deadline following a short stint as a part of a Big 3 for the Brooklyn Nets. Harden hit the ground running in Philly, with the team winning 4 games in a row after he started playing. However, things haven't continued in that fashion, the Sixers are 5-5 in their last 10 games, having lost their last 3.
This is starting to raise questions about Harden, with the Beard having to deal with criticism throughout his career for not being able to pull his teams to success in the playoffs. His numbers have also dropped a bit, as he's scored 21 points or less 4 times in the last 10 games. Time is running for Harden to win a ring and this season represents one of his better chances of making it happen.
His head coach Doc Rivers called him out after their latest loss, and Shaquille O'Neal thinks that it's a necessity for Harden more than a desire at this point, saying as much after the 76ers succumbed to the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night in what was an embarrassing loss.
"James [Harden] needs a championship. He needs it. He don't really need it for his legacy and career, but you know, as a player that's been touted as great, you want to have a championship under your belt," O'Neal said.
Shaq went on to express his concern for the tandem of Harden and Embiid, explaining that they need to beat the teams they're expected to beat if they wish to make a run for the championship.
"I'm worried about those two because you had a short amount of time to figure it out. It should have been figured out by now. Everyone knows to become a champion, beat the team you're supposed to beat. Six games left, we supposed to beat Detroit,"O'Neal said.
Philly has fallen to the 4th seed behind the Boston Celtics after their latest loss, with just 6 games left for them to claim as high a seed as they can. If they are unable to do that, then their path to the Finals will become much harder, meaning that Harden will also struggle to claim the title that will cement his legacy as one of the greatest.