James Harden on the Joel Embiid Effect: 'His Presence Alone Gives Us Energy'

The Philadelphia 76ers actually introduced the battle to a Miami Heat group that was seemingly poised to ship Philly to an early trip to Cancun.

It was both sink or swim for a Philly group down 0-2 to the No. 1 seeded Heat. To this level, Miami has been in a position to do every little thing they wished, discovering methods to dismantle the 76ers at any time when they flipped that swap to take action. However, a 99-79 defensive masterpiece from the 76ers has now left Miami shocked and looking for solutions after Philly answered the bell and gave the impression to be energized by the return of MVP candidate Joel Embiid.

Embiid missed the primary two video games of the Eastern Conference semifinal collection after struggling a concussion and damaged face throughout Game 6 of the 76ers-Raptors first-round collection. This Friday afternoon, the Process was lastly cleared for motion however was reportedly nonetheless not set to go till he was given the inexperienced mild about two hours earlier than gametime.

Donning his Phantom of the Process black masks, Embiid wasn’t the two-way bully he usually is, however in 36 minutes of motion, the previous Kansas Jayhawks completed with 18 factors and 11 rebounds. According to James Harden, Embiid didn’t have to be superman to assist the 76ers shut their collection deficit to 2-1; his bodily presence and management had been the lacking ingredient for Philly.

“It’s not about him scoring 30 or 40 points—His presence alone gives us energy—His communication, his dominance is very important to this team,” Harden mentioned.

Although Embiid admittedly wasn’t pleased together with his conditioning however might stroll away proud of how a lot his presence dissuaded the Heat from attacking the rim like they did in Games 1 and a pair of whereas concurrently galvanizing his teammates into forcing Miami into scoring 79 factors on 35.1 p.c capturing from the sector and 23.3 p.c from past the arc.

“But it was game time. It was winning time. It’s the playoffs.” Harden elaborated, per ESPN. “Joel knew how much we needed him, and he delivered. His dominance on both ends of the ball is very important to this team; it’s very valuable to this team. That’s why he’s the MVP, and we fed off that, and we got to just continue to keep pushing.”

Now down 2-1, the 76ers will look to tie their second-round collection with Miami on Sunday.



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