Are we sure the Nets made the right decision?
Last night in Minneapolis, James Harden played for the first time with his new team as the Sixers crushed the Timberwolves 133-102. It was also the first time the former MVP and future hall-of-famer has played in more than three weeks after dealing with a hamstring injury.
And it looks like Harden will fit very well with MVP candidate Joel Embiid, who led with 34 points and 10 boards.
The Beard had 27 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in his Sixers debut. And he also made five threes – the same amount that Ben Simmons has in his entire career.
Simmons, by the way, seemed thrilled to be traded to the Nets to team up with Kevin Durant. He’s been seen on the bench at Nets games since he’s been traded, but he’s been in street clothes every time.
So, it looks like Simmons could come back very soon, and when he’s confident, Ben is one of the most athletic and fastest players in the NBA. He’s also arguably a top-five passer and defender.
But people seem to be quickly forgetting that James Harden is still James Harden. Sure, he’s 32, but he’s still one of the best scorers and shooters we’ve ever seen.
Both the Sixers and Nets are in a win-now mode. And Brooklyn got some great pieces to bolster their lineup with the additions of Seth Curry and Andre Drummond. But with Simmons still on the sideline, how patient can the Nets be, especially with Kyrie Irving still only allowed to play away games?
And we’ve already seen Harden’s fit with Embiid. It’s a small sample size, but it looked good against Minnesota. But are entirely sure that Simmons and Durant will have the best chemistry on the court?
Simmons made it clear to his agent Rich Paul and the Sixers that he wanted to be the star of the team, which is why he didn’t get along with Embiid. Durant is quieter and more passive than Embiid in terms of his personality, and we’ve seen Durant fit with other stars like Steph Curry.
But Durant and Harden didn’t work out. There’s signs that Durant and Kyrie isn’t working out. Durant got in a fight with his former teammate Draymond Green on the sideline.
So the Nets are pairing a star who has a history of issues with his teammates with another player who wants all the limelight.
Oh, and the Nets have won just two of their last 15 games. And they’re currently the 8-seed at 31-29 and in position to potentially play in the play-in tournament to even make the playoffs.
On the other hand, the Sixers are 36-23 for the 3-seed in the stronger Eastern Conference. They’re just 2.5 games back of the 1-seed Heat.
So, which team would you rather be right now?