That didn’t take long. The Philadelphia 76ers dismantled the New York Knicks in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, and James Harden made franchise history.
There wasn’t much of an adjustment period for Harden with his new team, as the star guard has fit in seamlessly in a lineup featuring the likes of Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris.
Embiid is awfully happy with his new teammate thus far, stating in a press conference after their last win on Friday that he’s never felt more open on a play-to-play basis. That’s what adding a playmaker like Harden can do for a big man — and boy can he space the floor.
Against the Knicks on Sunday, Harden carried Philly at times, finishing with a statline of 29 points, 16 assists, 10 rebounds and five steals. Dare I say, Harden already made 76ers franchise history.
James Harden makes Philadelphia 76ers franchise history
In just his second game with the team, Harden became the only player to register a 25/10/15/5 game.
By no means is Harden’s goal in Philadelphia based on individual accomplishments. The man wants his ring, and he’s been close before. The 76ers sit in third place in the East behind the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, but Philadelphia is breathing down their necks.
The acquisition of Harden put the rest of the Association on notice — the 76ers weren’t satisfied waiting on Ben Simmons. Neither side was happy, and now that it’s resolved, Philadelphia is in win-now mode. The process is over.
Harden’s contract could eventually come back to bite the 76ers, sure. Daryl Morey decided the immediate payout was worth the risk.
Games like Sunday’s make it easy to see why. I suspect there’s more to come for this 76ers team as Harden paves his own path.