Hot Take of the Week
The 76ers will win the NBA championship.
Ever since the acquisition of James Harden, the Philadelphia 76ers have looked unstoppable. Looking more dominant than ever, the 76ers have gone 5-1 in games Harden has played since his arrival in Philly. More importantly, Harden’s playstyle has elevated the play of his teammates. Thanks to Harden’s stellar play-making abilities, MVP front runner Joel Embiid has averaged 30.3 points with Harden, and teammate Tyrese Maxey has averaged 20.7 points with Harden alongside him in the backcourt. After a 31-point win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Joel Embiid proclaimed, “That [game] was probably the most wide-open I’ve been in my career.” Additionally, Harden has continued to produce at a high level, averaging 22.3 points, 11.2 assists, and 7.3 rebounds since being acquired by the 76ers.
Harden’s amazing skills aren’t the sole factor in my high praise and prediction for the 76ers. The other main contributor in predicting the 76ers to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy is due to the lack of dominance throughout the NBA. The Bucks, Heat, and Bulls are the main threats to the 76ers in the eastern conference but none of the three teams have been able to assert their dominance throughout the season. The 76ers mingled in those tiers of teams but their addition of Harden has pulled them above.
Looking at the western conference, there is a parallel in the lack of a front-runner as well. The Suns, Grizzlies, and Warriors have looked great this year but the Suns are without All-NBA point guard Chris Paul and Memphis and Golden State have looked wildly inconsistent at times. Philadelphia’s star power and solid bench of Danny Green, Matisse Thybulle, DeAndre Jordan is why I predict the 76ers to win it all this season.
Fans have seemed to love Harden's move to Philadelphia, as his jersey has been the highest selling since the trade.