How Miami Heat Stack Up Against The Top Teams In The East: Philadelphia 76ers
The success of the 76ers this season can be attributed to Joel Embiid. There is no question about it.
With all of the drama circulating former 76ers guard, Ben Simmons, Embiid continued to lead the team. While trade rumors can have negative effects on team play, Embiid helped the 76ers to do the opposite by continuing to play excellent basketball.
Now, the 76ers have added the 2018 MVP, James Harden, to form a superstar duo in Philly. Just how far the 76ers will go will be entirely dependent on how James Harden fits in with the team though.
We know what Embiid can do—when he plays well, his team wins. He is practically unguardable unless he is double-teamed.
However, he can’t win a championship on his own. James Harden played his best basketball, in terms of scoring, under Daryl Morey.
However, back then he was the undisputed number one option on offense. Now, he is playing under Morey again but this time, he can rely on Embiid for scoring.
The James Harden we saw in Brooklyn was different from the Harden we saw in Houston. While he was still a good scorer, he relied more on his passing game, since the Nets had a variety of offensive weapons.
Harden will need to mix it up with the 76ers and find a balance. He has been off to a shaky first half of the season for a player of his caliber, but that could change with the new environment.
Although he has had several Hall Of Fame level teammates, Harden has never won an NBA championship. The dominance and impact of Joel Embiid with Harden’s scoring and passing ability should be enough to compete for one, but we don’t know how well the team will play together.
Miami and the other teams competing in the East can hope that Harden and Embiid fail to figure it out in time for the playoffs. If they are successful in working together, watch out.
They could form one of the best one-two punches this league has ever seen. Do the Miami Heat have a chance against the 76ers and their superstar duo?
Of course. The Harden trade took away some of their depth, namely sharpshooter Seth Curry, who is in the midst of the best season of his career.
However, they still managed to keep some of their valuable role players, such as Matisse Thybulle, an elite defender. The good thing is that even though Harden and Embiid have a lot of gravity on the floor, causing matchup problems, the Heat have enough defense to limit them.
Another advantage Miami has is that they have more shooting than Philly, especially with the departure of Curry. If they are able to contain either Harden or Embiid, then they should be able to compete against the 76ers, but that is a daunting task for Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and the rest of the Miami Heat on defense.