The city was thrilled when the 76ers acquired James Harden on the final date of the trade last season. Not only did they get rid of the ugly situation with Ben Simmons, but they also managed to make him one of the best players of all time. The excitement quickly turned to anger as the Sixers could not get out of the second round again, and Harden took a little too much heat for that.

It is true that Harden is no longer the player he was during his time in Houston, he was on another planet. However, he showed the same player’s flashes again this season. It’s hard to believe that Harden is only 32 years old, as if he is in the league forever. 32 years old can be old for a footballer or even a baseball player, but 32 years old is by no means old for an NBA player. We’ve seen a lot of players dominate until the mid-30s, and Harden is no exception.

In fact, Harden averaged more rebounds, assists, and better free throws last season than he did during his career. The only statistics we lag behind his career average are points per game (24 careers, 22 last season), 3 percentage points (36% career, 33% last season) and scoring percentage (44% career, 41% last season). If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that James Harden can score as well as anyone in the NBA.

Much of Harden’s lack of goals can be attributed to his sharing the pitch with players such as Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris, as well as learning a new attack in the middle of the season. Throughout the season, Harden was not required to be the number one striker in the attack, so he became a facilitator.

Harden may not have experienced the explosion of the early 1920s, but it was never washed away. It will be great for the Sixers and James to be able to learn their role in attack during the offseason.

Pump the breaks in Harden’s slander, he’ll be fine.

Photo via Getty Images

By philcp

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