Which Sixers Player has the Most to Prove This Season?
The Philadelphia Sixers are set to open the 2022-23 season next week with media day and training camp.
The team added plenty of new faces, but still have plenty of key names from last season's team that got knocked out in the second-round of the NBA playoffs, falling to the Miami Heat.
Over st SB Nation, they picked nine different players who have the most to prove this season, with Sixers guard James Harden landing on the list.
James Harden’s struggles at the start of the last season were written off as a veteran superstar adjusting to the league’s new point of emphasis on calling shooting fouls. By midseason, most agreed that Harden simply lacked the explosiveness of his prime years. After forcing a deadline deal from Brooklyn to Philadelphia, Harden flashed the advanced passing and pull-up shooting skills that once helped make him unguardable, but his lack of consistency can be traced back to his inability to regularly get to the rim.
Now 33 years old, Harden feels like he’s at a crossroads of his career: if he’s ever going to beat the allegations of underwhelming in the playoffs, now is the time. Philly’s NBA Finals hopes rest on Harden rediscovering is peak form.
Harden and the 76ers agreed to a two-year, $68.6 million contract during this offseason after coming over in a trade for for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks.
He has to show that he still has another All-Star season left in the tank, after looking like a player who may be on the decline.
He has said that he was never 100% with the 76ers last season while battling a hamstring issue.
“I was getting there, man. Honestly, it’s been a long two years for me," Harden told NBC Philadelphia.
At 33-years of age, we'll see if Harden can still be one of the premier scorers in the NBA, or will he have to become more of a facilitator this season.
EIther way, he needs to have a big season for the SIxers to finally get out of the second-round and make a deep playoff run this season.