Joel Embiid, Sixers pleading with James Harden to be more aggressive!
PHILADELPHIA The Philadelphia 76ers acquired James Harden at the deadline for him to bring his electric game to the City of Brotherly Love and team up with Joel Embiid to help bring a title to the franchise.
In order to do that, the Sixers want and need the Harden who led the league in scoring three times while with the Houston Rockets. They know the playmaking version of Harden is obviously very good, but they want the ruthless scorer.
The Sixers saw shades of that in Tuesday’s 118-116 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks where he scored 32 points on 10-for-17 shooting and he knocked down four triples.
It was good, but we need to do it every night. We need to find ways to win. We need everybody, especially him, so we need to be on the same page. Like I said, we’re trying to make sure we have a chance to win it all so it’s all about doing it every night.
Sixers swinging the ball to Harden
Harden has been so used to being a point guard over the past couple of years that he isn’t used to being so wide-open off swing passes. Normally, he is the one initiating all of that.
Doc Rivers: We showed him some film. In the Phoenix game, and the Laker game, the ball swings, he’s never had that. He’s never had that where he’s getting the ball swung to him and he rarely shoots them. He’ll get used to that. He spent a ton of time after practice working on spot up shots. He was laughing saying I haven’t had a spot-up swing ever. So now he’s getting them and that’s good because he’s a great shooter so it will work out for him
Harden: That and when the swing-swing is there, I feel like they were rotating to me so the swing-swing opportunity is there, but that’s something I do have to get used to just by being ball-dominant for so many years. A guy like Jo gets double teams in the post and the ball gets swung to me. Sometimes, I gotta shoot it so I’ll watch film and try to be better as time goes on.
Rivers had a conversation with Harden to be aggressive
Just more aggressive. More comfortable. We had a good talk today Tuesday, James and I, and he’s trying to fit in and get guys going and I told him no, thank you. I said You get going and we’ll figure it out. We just need you to be you. Don’t worry about everyone else. As long as you and Joel are in the right spots, we’ll figure out everyone else, but we need you to think of yourself as a scorer. Not the way you played in Brooklyn when you were a point guard trying to run the team. We want him to be the James and tonight Tuesday, he was. So, that was a big step for us.
Harden is trying to get it right
I’m trying to get it right. I’m trying to be the best James Harden I can be and I’m trying to make sure that I’m doing the things necessary to help my team win whatever that needs to be so we talked for maybe a half-hour on things and basically he told me, to sum it all up, to go out there and just be you. That was my mindset today so it felt good just to have that confidence from Doc from here on out.
Just being aggressive and not really worrying about anything, but being aggressive. Getting my teammates involved will happen, but that was my mindset tonight Tuesday.
Rivers: Just up and down. If you look at the trip, there was one game where he was really good, the Clipper game obviously, he had stints in the Laker game, Phoenix he wasn’t as comfortable so that’s just gonna be a work in progress.
Tobias Harris: I thought he was in a good flow and good rhythm, he got to the free-throw line early, got a couple shots to fall early on and he just stayed in that flow. He was great tonight, and he kind of just kept rolling and we need that out of him every single night and I thought he did a great job.