By Dylan MacKinnon
It is hard to imagine that going much better. Harden made his debut with quite the bang, as he helped lead them to a blowout win over the T-Wolves on the road. They beat them by a final score of 133-102. The T-Wolves by the way were 32-29 coming into the game, and 18-12 at home. Sixers improve to 36-23, and an impressive 20-10 on the road. For now they take sole possession of the 3 seed, with Bucks a half game behind them.
Harden flashed every skill Sixers fans dreamed he would bring to Philly. Creating his own shots? He generated multiple step back 3s, to go with some hard drives to to the bucket as well? Facilitating the rest of the offense. There were multiple times he found guys so wide open that they genuinely seemed shocked it happened. The best example of his passing came when with a full court pass to Maxey in transition.
The offense ran super smooth, smoother than we have seen it run in a long time. Only Harris seemed to struggle, but even he was the beneficiary of multiple 3’s assisted by Harden. Otherwise, Maxey had 28pts, Harden 27, and Embiid finished with 34. And that was all with them coming out early because they were up so much. Here is just a taste of what the game sounded like, with audio courtesy of Tom McGinnis.
That was quite the first half in James Harden's @sixers debut. Before the 2nd half starts, here's a replay of some of the best moments, as called by @McGinnisThomas pic.twitter.com/gBIFtwPjtQ— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) February 26, 2022
The bench? Well the bench struggled for most of the game until they got expanded run in garbage time. Korkmaz, Milton, and Niang all struggled to get involved. Green did his job though hitting a couple 3s off the bench. Also notable, Isiah Joe came in late and also nailed a few 3s. But he didn’t see the floor until the game was out of hand. If the rest of the bench doesn’t improve, that could always change.
Will this be how every game looks? Probably not. But it certainly is promising. They beat up on a pretty good Timberwolves team in their own house. Harden appears to be everything Sixers fans have wanted for a long time. And if there was hype going into this game, it certainly wont be dying down any time soon.