These playoffs have been odd to say the least. We’ve seen Jimmy Butler elevate to a super star, the Lakers dominate with Anthony Davis, and James Harden turn back time.
In game 4 of the Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden shoots a danger 3-pointer to tie the series. In both wins for the Sixers, Harden has scored 40-plus points.
The former NBA MVP has looked like the Harden of old. In his playoff career, Harden has not looked great. Ultimately, his performances did not help his team win.
Nevertheless, the Sixers will need for Harden to duplicate this performance two more times this round.
Harden steps up
Surprisingly, Harden performance in this series has been hot and cold. In game 2 and 3, Harden could not elevate himself to bring any significant change. The Celtics rolled in both games.
Again, on paper the Celtics are better than their Sixers. However, a former NBA MVP can do a lot to change that out look. Harden’s second 40-point game is a first for any Sixers player since Allen Iverson.
Obviously, the Sixers would do better with a James Harden that is consistent in every game. However, a 40 point game from any one in the playoffs is beneficial.
Harden was wide open when Joel Embiid passed him the ball with 19-seconds left in the game. Harden laced the 3-point shot. Celtics point guard Marcus Smart had a last second opportunity to return the favor.
Smart was a millisecond too late when he threw up his shot.
Celtics in a dog fight, again
Once again, the favorites in the East are in a dog fight. The Boston Celtics had a difficult time with the Atlanta Hawks and now the Sixers.
The Celtics did not have a great showing for most of the game. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter where we saw the Celtics dominate. Multiple lead changes occurred in the final two periods of the game.
Interesting enough, the Celtics could have walked away with this game. If the ball would have bounced their way some more, the Celtics could be up 3-1. However, yet again the Celtics continue to play sloppy in important moments.
After Harden’s 3-point shot, there was 19 seconds left in the game. Plenty of time for a shot to be put up to win the game. Unfortunately, Jayson Tatum did not make a move for a score until there was just under 5 seconds left.
Yet again, the Celtics show a lack of awareness in the closing moments of the game. Needless to say, the Celtics will have another opportunity in game 5 when they return home.