The guard failed to live up to expectations as he averaged 18.1 points per game in the series against the Miami Heat. In the entirety of the playoffs, Harden averaged 18.6 points per game, rendering very little help on the scoring sheet for the 76ers.
In Game 6 against the Heat, having been 3-2 down, the 76ers were looking to secure a win and force a Game 7. But they lost and Harden didn't show up. He recorded only 11 points (his lowest in the 2022 playoffs) and led the team with four turnovers.
NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins reacted to the 76ers president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey's press conference. Morey stated that the team needs to be as tough and aggressive as the Heat.
Perkins was curious to know who he was referring to in his statement. He expected Morey to mention the name of the player in question. He went on to state that, until Morey addresses Harden squarely, the 76ers will continue to be below par.
"I mean, was he talking to James? Because that was the only guy that wasn't bringing the toughness," Perkins stated. "Say his name Daryl Morey. I know y'all good friends. I know y'all are family. Until Daryl address the elephant in the room and that's James Harden.
"He's the reason they are out of the playoffs. When I look at James Harden right now, the worst thing Daryl Morey can do is give him a voice. He don't deserve a voice."
James Harden to remain with the Philadelphia 76ers as they look to retain him for the entire season
Having featured for the Philadelphia 76ers for over three months, Harden has been the center of criticism. Fans and pundits have accused him of being responsible for their playoff exit. Some have called for his contract to not be extended and asked that he be traded away from the franchise.
However, the 76ers front office thinks otherwise, as they have no plans to let go of the three-time scoring champion.
Daryl Morey has stated that the franchise believes that having Harden in the team for a complete season will get the team access to the potential that lies within him, stating:
"We think a full year of James, we can unlock what he brings us."