James Harden looking to ‘be more aggressive”

2022-05-02T15:16:18+00:00 2022-05-02T15:20:54+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

02/May/22 15:16


It is all about sacrifice for James Harden heading to the second round of the NBA Playoffs

By Johnny Askounis/ info@eurohoops.net

Since Joel Embiid was expected to miss at least Game 1 and Game 2 of the best-of-seven series between the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat, teammate James Harden was considered extremely likely to be more aggressive at the offensive end. He confirmed his intentions on Sunday.

“I’m comfortable and have been doing this for a long time. Just taking what the defense gives me and being aggressive, and making the right decision once I get to that point,” he explained ahead of Game 1, “More floor spacing and more attacks to the basket. We just have to play free with the ultimate confidence as a group.”

Both Game 1 and Game 2 of the series will be held at FTX Arena, Monday and Thursday, respectively.

“At this point, it’s a sacrifice,” added Harden, the NBA’s best scorer in 2018, 2019, and 2020, “I can score 30 something, and we could lose, and score 19, and we win. At this point, I just do whatever it takes to win the game. Sacrificing, I’m the ultimate team player. Now that Jo’s out, I gotta be more aggressive scoring the basketball, and I got to get to the basket and make the right decisions.”

Harden, 32, produced 19.0 points per contest in the first-round series opposite the Toronto Raptors. However, his Cameroonian teammate on the sidelines with a right orbital fracture and mild concussion forces adjustments affecting his own role and other players.

Besides Embiid on the injury list, young Nigeria center Charles Bassey is listed as questionable due to right shoulder soreness. The Heat have ruled out Kyle Lowry (left hamstring strain), while Jimmy Butler (right knee), Tyler Herro (illness), Caleb Martin (left ankle), Markieff Morris (illness), Max Strus (right hamstring), and P.J. Tucker (right calf) are all considered questionable.