JJ Redick Does not Think James Harden is an "Efficient Scorer"

James Harden was acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade for Ben Simmons back in February. The hope was to get a player that can pair up with Joel Embiid who was having an MVP caliber season and compete for a championship. The 76ers were to be the supposed winners of the trade because they got a former MVP who brings playoff experience to the team and is a reliable veteran who does not miss many games. However, the former MVP has not been having the greatest playoff experience this season and is being criticized for his lack of presence in the absence of Embiid in the first game of the series against the Miami Heat. In fact, former player, now ESPN analyst JJ Redick does not think James Harden is an "efficient scorer."

Redick, a former 76er, was asked on the segment, ESPN Today, what he would tell Harden if he was in the locker room. Redick responded, "James needs to be aggressive, but at this point, James is primarily a playmaker and facilitator for others." Harden is a great passer and in his years with the Houston Rockets proved he can play the point guard position when he averaged 11.8 assists in 2016-2017 and 8.8 assists the following MVP season in 2017-2018. 

So, Redick's point about being a facilitator and playmaker is not far from the truth, and in fact, Harden has averaged 10 assists a game as part of the Brooklyn Nets and now the 76ers. Also, in the first-round series against the Raptors in this season's playoffs, Harden averaged 10 assists a game as well.

However, Redick went on to mention that Harden "is just not an efficient scorer." Well, in the series against the Raptors Harden was shooting 41% from the field. Although that is not as high as his last season as part of the Rockets, it is the same percentage as his MVP year. 

Harden did not play well against the Heat in the first game of the second round of the playoffs. Part of that was because Embiid was out with injury, but also because Harden had to assume all of the scoring responsibility which did not seem like he was prepared for. The stat-line was 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists on 38% field goals. Unless Harden puts up a similar stat-line to that of the first game, he is still one of the more efficient players in the game. The 10-time all-star will look to bounce back in game two against the Heat on Wednesday night. 

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