Joel Embiid counters James Harden — Sixers let him ‘do his thing’

PHILADELPHIA — Talking for the primary time since James Harden was traded to the LA Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid mentioned he did not agree with Harden’s evaluation that he was held again by the 76ers the previous couple of years.

“I do not assume so,” Embiid mentioned after Thursday’s 114-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors, through which he completed with 28 factors, 13 rebounds and seven assists in 35 minutes. “I feel he did plenty of nice issues for us.

“However for my part, we gave him the ball each single possession, as a result of he is actually good. He is an incredible participant. Clearly, being that nice of a passer, I feel we gave him the ball … we would give him the ball each single possession to only exit and, you recognize, do his factor. And from there he needed to make selections so far as getting guys open or searching for himself.

“However I assumed he did a fairly good job of getting us into an offense and simply passing the ball, getting guys open. That is the rationale why he received the help title final 12 months.”

Harden, talking at his introductory information convention in Los Angeles earlier Thursday, mentioned he felt like he was on “a leash” taking part in with Philadelphia final season, including, “I am not a system participant. I’m a system.”

However, as Embiid mentioned, Harden did lead the league in assists with the 76ers final season, whereas Embiid was tops in scoring and captured his first MVP award. The season ended with the 76ers shedding in seven video games within the Japanese Convention semifinals to the Boston Celtics, marking the fifth time in six seasons Philly fell within the second spherical of the playoffs.

After Harden finally opted into his $35.6 million participant possibility for this season in June, he requested a commerce from Philadelphia to the Clippers — a request that was granted early Tuesday.

Embiid mentioned he was happy Harden obtained what he needed.

“I am glad that the state of affairs obtained resolved, and I am glad for him,” Embiid mentioned. “I hope he has an opportunity to succeed, make some huge cash, play good basketball and be capable to win. And I hope we each make the Finals, however he is on the shedding aspect of it and we’re on the successful aspect of it.

“However I feel while you’re wanting on the state of affairs, from the place it in all probability got here from, we could not do nothing. It was out of our management. So in that state of affairs, you have simply obtained to go together with it.

“However I nonetheless consider we had an opportunity [to win together]. We had been proper there, particularly with the workforce that we’ve proper now. What he is ready to add and what he has accomplished, what we have allowed him to do, which, we gave the ball each single possession. … It is unlucky, however we have got to only transfer on and we have got a superb group of men that may develop and preserve getting higher.”

After a season-opening one-point loss to host Milwaukee, Embiid and the 76ers (3-1) picked up their third straight win towards the Raptors. Along with Embiid’s dominance, Tobias Harris and Kelly Oubre Jr. every scored 23 factors.

Whereas Embiid mentioned that he did not consider the Harden state of affairs ever served as a distraction for the 76ers, he added that it wasn’t as much as him to debate what potential strikes may happen, or what Philadelphia obtained again within the deal — a mixture of two draft picks, a swap of draft picks and forwards Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, Marcus Morris Sr. and KJ Martin.

As an alternative, he mentioned that was for the entrance workplace to fret about.

“That is not my job,” Embiid mentioned. “My solely job is to attempt to win. I simply wish to make that clear. I simply wish to be in the perfect place to win.

“I am at all times going to consider in myself anyhow. It would not matter who I play with. I really like the blokes that we’ve. We’ll go and battle each single evening like we have been doing, and we at all times going have an opportunity to win. However as you see within the league, when guys have been successful, it takes so much and it takes everyone to contribute. And I consider in our guys.

“However the one factor I care about is successful. That is my focus. I hope that we’re all on the identical web page. as a result of that is all I would like. The second we’re not on the identical web page then that is a dialogue for one more day. However these guys wish to win and we’ll do our greatest.”

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