Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce got into a headed debate on the Top 5 players…
The hype around the 2022-23 Philadelphia 76ers is real, but there remains one major question in regards to James Harden. Can Harden return to the player he once was during his time in Houston or is the city of Philadelphia witnessing his decline right before our own eyes?
I have faith that Harden can get close in returning to the player we saw in Houston. After coming to Philadelphia at the trade deadline, Harden, likely injured, showed flashes of greatness but nothing near the consistency that Sixers fans hoped for during the playoffs.
All of the news over the summer would indicate that Harden is ready to perform at an elite level this season, and 76ers are locked in to make another run at an NBA Title.
But what does Vegas think of Harden heading into the 2022-23 season?
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James Harden Points Over/Under: 21.7
If any ounce of your soul believes Harden will have a bounce back year next season, you’ve got to take the over here. Last season in a “down year,” Harden’s points per game still came out to 22 PPG. However, Harden did only average 21 points per game after joining the 76ers. But again, that was with a whole new offense to learn and a nagging hamstring injury.
That is why I would personally bet the over here.
However, I wouldn’t be disappointed if he didn’t reach the over. There’s an argument that his shooting efficiency is more important than his scoring output. You pair that with his one-of-a-kind playmaking ability, and he’s still an elite player.
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Harden Assists Over/Under: 10.1
James Harden finished second in the NBA this past season in assists per game (10.3), trailing only Chris Paul (10.8). It’s safe to say at this point in Harden’s career, he will probably average around ten assists per game, which is why I also like the over here. Probably even more than his scoring over/under this season.
I’d imagine with the new and improved Sixers roster, Harden’s assists and scoring will come easier to him. Harden will have even better chemistry with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. The only risk here is that maybe Harden takes a bigger backseat in the regular season to develop Maxey further. We will get a better feel on this once the 2022-23 season is underway.
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