The Sixers scored 144 points in beating the Hornets this afternoon, easing concerns that the offense has stagnated since James Harden arrived. Philadelphia snapped a three-game losing streak as Harden reverted to the playmaker role he adopted after being acquired from the Nets in February, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He took just 10 shots from the field and handed out 13 assists while playing three quarters in the blowout.
“Like I said, it’s possession by possession, game by game,” Harden said. “Some games I need to be a little more aggressive. But with all that said, I think when all of us are playing well together and on the same page, we got a very, very good chance to win.”
Coach Doc Rivers compared Harden’s situation to what Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen experienced when they joined the Celtics. It’s harder to put up impressive stats on teams with multiple scoring options.
“His numbers are not going to be like his numbers in Houston, because he’s playing with a pretty good player [Joel Embiid],” Rivers said. “So those types of numbers I would never compare him to or anybody to.”
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Rivers was relieved the Sixers were able to work out a deal for Ben Simmons at the deadline, saying his standoff with the team was becoming too much of a distraction, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “The guys were just over it,” Rivers said. “We were winning games, and, every town we went to, we were talking about Ben. I don’t know if we could have gotten through the second half of the season with that hanging over our heads. I was praying something happened.”
- Simmons traveled with the Nets for tonight’s showdown in Atlanta, but he was limited to “light shooting” before the game and didn’t move around much, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Coach Steve Nash said nothing has changed with Simmons’ status, adds Nick Friedell of ESPN (Twitter link).
- Nets guard Goran Dragic, who has entered health and safety protocols, is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, Nash said in a pregame meeting with reporters (Twitter link from Lewis). Nash added that Bruce Brown has the flu and hopefully will return soon. Seth Curry will miss tonight’s game because of soreness in his left ankle (Twitter link).
- Celtics center Robert Williams was happy with the results of his meniscus surgery, tweets NBA writer A. Sherrod Blakely. “Everything went as well as we wanted to (with the surgery),” Williams said. “We have to take our time, make sure I’m healthy … everyone here cares about me long-term.”
16 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Harden, Simmons, Dragic, R. Williams”
Just some growing pains with Harden but I’m glad it’s happening now and not in the post season.
Kinda shoulda made the deal with the Nets earlier so players were more familiar and settled.
But I’m still optimistic, Harden can be an elite scoring option either from three or getting inside and to the free throw line. But he’s also developed into being an elite playmaker and can easily give you 13 assist making the right decisions. Maxey suits that off ball guard role and needs to get more confident in his ability. He’s really really talented and often needs others to tell him how good he is before he starts performing. Harris is getting more familiar to being a 3rd/4th option which is good. Thybulle has really improved getting open looks from harden.
Just need the team to all be on the same page every night, battle hard for one another and I think we can still go far
Nets sure could use Ben Simmons or Bruce Brown or Jayson Williams or somebody bc their defense has been pretty atrocious in the 1st half of this, their most important game of the season. Only thing they can do to stop the Hawks is fouling us. They’re up around 15fouls already. Worked in the 1st qtr when we were missing fts but they’re searching for answers here at halftime
Nets found their answer at half & his name is Kevin Durant but it wasn’t enough. Huge W for ATL. Huge L for BK
Huge result that one. Hawks without Collins beat Nets with KD (dropping 50) and Kyrie.
Hawks really earned my respect last season when they beat us in the playoffs. Although me and you don’t often see eye to eye on what I believe the hawks should do to get better, can’t help but admit the hawks are a pretty good team. They don’t show up often enough besides Trae Young who always performs but on their day they can honestly beat every team in the league. Really hoping we don’t face them in the playoffs again but goodluck for the rest of the season
I appreciate that you’re trying to give props after that big W but if you’re the guy that keeps proposing we trade Jalen Johnson & John Collins for Julius Randle then the Hawks definitely haven’t earned your respect yet. Just the way you talk about the Hawks as basically Trae plus some other guys around him shows me that you didn’t learn from what happened last yr. I’d love for guys to rewatch that series (tho I know none will). Trae was pretty dominant in that series when guarded by Danny Green (gm1), Thybulle & others. Ben Simmons largely shut Trae down tho. It’s sorta crazy that no one remembers this lol it was just last season. Trae was especially struggling in gm7 bc of Ben but other guys, specifically Kev & Gallo in gm7, Lou in gm5 & Bogdan in gm4. Doc took Ben off Trae down the stretch of gm7 for some reason which freed him up to make a couple of big shots in clutch time but it was Kev that really killed Philly. I can understand how guys overlook the rest of our team tho. National media only talks about Trae as far as the Hawks so for guys that don’t watch us a lot that’s all they’re familiar with. Trae is obviously a great pg, especially offensively but this team is definitely more than just him plus a bunch of randoms
Harden is literal trash. Never was a fan of his game, doesn’t suit to winning. Now that he’s lost explosiveness and can’t even do the horrid, Harden ISO ball he was known for, it’s gotten even worse. I’d honestly rather watch paint dry than watch old man grampa Harden play basketball.
I think we would all rather you watch paint dry & comment on that instead of basketball
Show us on the doll where James hurt you
Interesting stat: Harden average speed per game with the ball from the beginning of his Houston tenure to 2019- 7.5 mph
Harden average speed on a basketball court the last 2 seasons- 3.63 MPH
Even stats will back up the fact that Harden has lost considerable speed and explosion the last few years.
Houston was first in league in pace
Philly and Brk are half court vet teams
I’m not a Harden guy but he was the best player in the NBA for like 50% of last season
Simmons limited to light shooting. What did this dude do for the last 10 months? What a douche!!! Oh wait, mentally he couldn’t shoot. He will change the max contract for future stars that deserve it.
Come on Doc, we all know that you are a terrible coach, but, now you showing us you don’t know much about the league disrespecting great players, do you have to fall that low?
Harden in HOU played with great players capable to score plenty like DH12, CP3, Russ, Optimus Dime…!
Misinformation ain’t cool Doc!
So far, Sixers have won the trade. Nets wasting one more year of Durant is a loss. They could/should have just moved Ben Simmons for other pieces as a 3 or 4 team trade. He is sitting out so that his arbitration case is better, hes a witch.
Always said Philly needs the 15 ast Harden. Not the 30 pts Harden. Cause he can always get his shot. It’s best to get team going first, always first.
Harden 12 pts. 13 ast
Embiid 29 pts, Harris 23 pts, Maxey 19 pts
We all know offense shouldn’t be an issue for Sixers. But making stops in a seven gm series. That we will have to wait n see.
Good win for Hawks. Nets needed this to secure hm field. KD went off but had no help. Didn’t watch gm so can’t comment on what happened.
Cavs, Nets, Hawks all are tough opponents in 1st rd. So you better come to play in 1st rd. To me Philly and Boston are most vulnerable in 1st rd. So it’s actually best to get the 4th seed this yr.