Embiid Shades Harden: "He's Not the Houston James Harden"

It was a pretty blunt analysis by Joel Embiid of the performance of James Harden in his first run with the Philadelphia 76ers:

"Obviously... since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden, but that's not who he is anymore. He’s more of a playmaker," Embiid told reporters after the game. "I thought at times could’ve been, as all of us, could’ve been more aggressive."

Embiid's assessment of playing with Harden seems to have changed drastically from when he first arrived from Brooklyn after the February trade deadline. 

As noted by @statmuse, Embiid said, enthusiastically, back after their first game together, "That was probably the most wide-open I've ever been in my career." Contrast that with "Everybody expected the Houston James Harden. But that’s not who he is anymore." Hmm.

And while Ben Simmons has been roasted for over a year for his lack of aggressiveness on the offensive end in the 4th quarters of last year's playoff ouster, here's a look at Harden's 2nd halves in the 6-game loss to Miami. Including 0 points (zero) in the elimination game.

He averaged 5 points in the 2nd half over the six games. And if you take away his one 18-point aggressive performance in Game 4, his average plummets to 2.8 points in the 2nd half. 

Even Ben Simmons got in on the action, liking a Skip Bayless tweet trashing Harden.

Another interesting summer coming up in Philly. Let's just hope Doc Rivers keeps his thoughts to himself.