The Sixers fell behind by 16 points midway through the second quarter in their Wednesday night rematch against the Knicks, but the game was never in doubt. The Knicks stinks, and the Sixers, save for one (pretty significant) concern over their backup center spot, very much do not.
Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey took turns toying with New York in the second half, as the Sixers turned a double digit deficit into a double digit lead in the span of about 12 minutes of game action.
For as much as last night was a significant event as James Harden's home debut, I'm not sure it added too much analytically, but rather reinforced what we already knew. If the Sixers are focused, they'll outclass the Knicks every time.
Going to get right into the newsletter and link roundup, but before that, a few quick, updated stats on the start of the James Harden era:
- Joel Embiid: 32.7 points, 17.7 fta, 37.3% usage rate, 65.9% true shooting in the 3 games.
- James Harden: 27.3 points, 12.3 assists, 2.7 turnovers, 9.7 fta, 23.2% usage, 79.2% true shooting.
- Tyrese Maxey: 24.7 points, 0.3 turnovers, 9-14 from 3, 20.6% usage, 77.5% true shooting.
- The Sixers with Embiid, Harden and Maxey on the floor have outscored opponents 202-141 in 68 minutes. That's a 140.3 offensive rating, 94.6 defensive rating, and a +45.6 net rating.
"I've been through a lot. I've been through a lot. Whether it's, you talk about, freaking GMs using burner accounts, talking trash on their players."
-- Joel Embiid, starting off his answer on maintaining the team's culture through the years despite all the changes.