James Harden played so badly in Game 6 that Stephen A. Smith thought it was intentional to make Rivers look bad.
James Harden doesn’t think he wants Rivers as head coach
Smith weighed his points:
“James Harden was so bad last night, so horrible. It almost looks like it was intentional.”
Harden only made two shots in the second half, both missed, and Harden’s performance was obviously hit.
After being traded to the 76ers, many saw his duo with Embiid as Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
With James Harden’s scoring prowess and his playmaking IQ, there’s little reason why he could go scoreless in the second half in his most important game of the season so far. Stephen A. Smith believes Harden’s lack of effort was intentional.
“We’re talking about a player who averaged at least 30 points three years in a row, at least 29 points five years in a row, and six, I mean, in ’89, at least 27 points a game.
“It’s one of the most prolific scorers in the game. … How do you go from that to not trying but two shots in the second half of a closing game?
After pointing to Harden’s history of super scoring prowess, Stephen A. Smith added weight to his theory with a question:
“Do you know any scorer in NBA history who couldn’t make more than two shots in the second half of the playoffs? He hit 22:52.”
Smith makes a good point. There should be no reason for James Harden to attempt at least two more shots in a half, regardless of spacing or coverage.
How did “one of the most prolific scorers” get completely shut down the year he jumped to Philly for the playoffs?
One would think that James Harden would show more grit in the final minutes of the series after leaving Brooklyn in search of a championship with Joel Embiid. That said, Smith’s argument carries weight.
It’s important to note that Smith isn’t saying it’s a fact that James Harden doesn’t want Rivers to be his coach. The analyst simply outlined what Harden’s performance made him think about personally.
“After the game, [James Harden is] Dr. Rivers was asked, and he had no comment. I don’t think he wants Rivers to be the coach. “
Neglecting to comment on your coach can mean many things. Smith bluntly said it meant Harden hated Rivers, which might be a little far-fetched. But when we look back at the key shots James made throughout his career, the question of why he only attempted two shots in the entire half lingered.
After Philadelphia started to falter in its first series against Toronto, the Raptors are starting to look like they’ll be making a comeback.
As a result, when all of his previous major comeback losses in the playoffs began to resurface, Dr. Rivers got most of the flak. Since then, Rivers’ history in Philadelphia has been questionable from a public standpoint.
With the 76ers eliminated from the playoffs in such a disappointing fashion, James may just be a bit salty and he didn’t make the Finals he hoped for this season.