In games 2 and 3, the Philadelphia 76ers saw Joel Embiid return and James Harden’s play deteriorate.
Harden performed admirably in Game 1, but he struggled in the following two games, scoring just 28 points.
The Sixers are anxious about this predicament since they will need both of them to perform at their best in order to compete with the Celtics.
Joel Embiid made sure to inform his teammate of the necessary changes to do in order to be more productive because of this.
I mean, you just talk to him and you keep telling him to keep shooting, Embiid said. Be aggressive. Can t get too high, can t get too low. Some nights you re going to make lots of other shots, a lot of tough ones, and some nights you re not going to make them. So it s about finding other ways to impact the game.
New ESPN story: After James Harden followed up his best-ever playoff game with the worst two-game shooting stretch of his career in Games 2 and 3, Joel Embiid had a simple message for him: continue to be aggressive. You keep telling him to keep shooting. https://t.co/LBomjIYGqf
Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 6, 2023
In Game 1 of this series, Harden put on a classic performance, scoring 45 points to give the Sixers the series’ opening victory.
The Sixers, who are currently behind the Celtics 1-2, have suffered a setback.
This series will depend on Game 4, since the Sixers cannot go back to Boston trailing 3-1.
Although Philadelphia still has great hopes for this season, they won’t make the playoffs for long without their second-best player performing at the peak of his game.
Another early playoff exit might speed up the speculated desire of Harden in returning to the Houston Rockets.