James Harden Ripped by Fans for Struggles in 76ers' Game 5 Loss to RaptorsApril 26, 2022
The Philadelphia 76ers had the chance to close out their first-round series against the Toronto Raptors on Monday, but instead, they suffered a 103-88 loss on their home floor.
The Sixers were doomed by horrendous three-point shooting (27.3 percent), but the play of James Harden was under a microscope as he put forth another dud of a performance in the playoffs. Harden finished with 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting with seven assists and five turnovers. Fans online didn't hold back in their criticism of his play.
Harden somewhat benefitted from the Brooklyn Nets getting swept by the Boston Celtics earlier in the night, as his former team attracted a hefty amount of attention for its shortcomings.
Monday's contest was the fourth game in this series in which Harden has shot under 40 percent from the field. He's now averaging 18.4 points on 37.3 shooting and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Philadelphia has a strong roster led by MVP finalist Joel Embiid along with Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey. The Sixers don't need Harden to play at an MVP level to be successful, but they at least need him to play aggressively and efficiently. Harden already has a reputation of disappearing in the postseason, and his play against the Raptors has done nothing to change that narrative.
If Philadelphia wants to end the series in Thursday's Game 6, Harden will have to play like the star the Sixers envisioned him to be when they acquired him at the trade deadline.