James Harden has made as many threes as a Philadelphia 76er than Ben Simmons did in the 5 years he played in Philly.
The charity stripe was going through quite a lot in last night’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. James Harden and Joel Embiid, as expected, were taking to the free throw line as often as ever, combining for a total 22 attempts. With Harden on board, there are two things Embiid isn’t used to seeing from his co-star.
Having been playing with Ben Simmons for over half a decade, seeing his secondary star take to the free throw line with no hesitation must have been a breath of fresh air. While Simmons was built to barrel through the paint and finish at the rim, he would be quite hesitant as getting fouled would mean a trip to the free throw line.
Simmons never shot over 62.1% from behind the line and never crossed 5.4 attempts a game in his career. With the way he is built, this should not have been the case.
The second aspect of Harden’s game that Joel can take solace in is his 3-point shooting.
James Harden does what Ben Simmons did over 4 years, in one game.
The major gripe with Ben Simmons was that he would not space the floor in the slightest. Enter James Harden. This isn’t a problem any longer as ‘The Beard’ had as good of a debut as any player could’ve had with a new team/ he dropped 27 points and dished out 12 assists while grabbing 8 rebounds.
Most importantly, he did so while shooting 5-7 from three point range. Five made threes is the amount of shots Simmons made from beyond the arc in 4 whole years as a 76er on 34 attempts.
James Harden has tied Ben Simmons on the Sixers all-time three-pointers made list.
— Adam Aaronson (@SixersAdam) February 26, 2022
With James Harden being as good as he was from distance, his performance felt like a borderline mockery of what the Sixers have been over the past few years. Safe to say that the Harden era in Philly will be much appreciated.