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James Harden's playoff letdown raises questions for Philadelphia 76ers

Yaron WeitzmanFOX Sports
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James Harden
Daryl Morey
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Yaron Weitzman

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Game 6

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The New York Times
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Harden finished his first postseason run with the Sixers averaging a pedestrian 18.6 points per game. The two thrived at times, but after yet another second-round playoff exit, it’s fair to wonder if chasing Harden was the right move or if it could end up dooming the Sixers for years to come. Maybe most telling is that, according to ESPN, 9.6% of his shot attempts were blocked this year — regular season and playoffs — the highest rate among players to attempt 700 shots.More than that, though, has Harden shown any signs in his career of being a star you’d bet on to age gracefully? And even if the Sixers were able to sign a player such as Bradley Beal, would it be worth losing both Harden and Harris — plus whatever assets would have to be attached to Harris’ deal — to do so?"No, he’s not what he used to be, but he’s still a top-20 player," one GM said. But the fact that Harden and Embiid, statistically, formed the league’s most deadly pick-and-roll combo and the fact that lineups with Embiid and Harden on the floor roasted opponents to the tune of 20.3 points per 100 possessions, a Harlem Globetrotters-like mark, would back that up.In the end, the Sixers might not have any choice but to believe in that number.

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