James Harden and Tyrese Maxey seem set to light the Eastern Conference up in flames pretty soon. Maxey revealed something unknown about the Beard.
There probably isn’t an NBA player with a track record of debut games that’s better than the Beard. His first game with the Houston Rockets nearly 10 years ago saw him put up a near-40-point game.
The same feeling, albeit with reduced volume, came about just over a year ago in Brooklyn. And on Friday night, James Harden added the feather of a near-triple-double on his Philadelphia 76ers debut.
The Beard ended up with 27 points, 8 rebounds and 12 dimes on what’ll be remembered as a landmark day in Philadelphia sporting history. After all, they’ve moved on from Bum Ben Simmons to an MVP and a 3-time scoring champion!
Tyrese Maxey says the most surprising attribute that James Harden displayed was on defense
If you think Sixers fans are elated, imagine how extra elated their young and bustling roster would be. Joel Embiid was effusive in his praise of the 2017-18 NBA MVP in the postgame presser following his debut.
Tyrese Maxey, who had 28 points of his own on the night, joined in on the praise himself. The 2nd year combo guard, who was the Sixers’ primary ball-handler before the Harden trade this year, said that this game was the most open he’s ever been on a basketball court.
Beyond that, what Maxey revealed about James Harden is a side that casuals and haters would do well to take note of. Always miscast as an extremely porous defender, JH-13 has worked hard to get rid of that reputation. And it seems that Tyrese Maxey noticed that side of him:
“I think today, just his defensive communication (was the most surprising thing today). From shootaround today, he was extremely adamant about defending and that’s how we’re gonna win. The offense will take care of itself.”
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) February 26, 2022
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When you have Joel Embiid and James Harden, who’re probably the 2 biggest mismatches at their positions in the league, offense is obviously easy.