Philadelphia 76ers: 3 reasons why Sixers will win the East with James Harden

Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /
4 of 4
Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Joel Embiid has a player that he can trust in the postseason

Perhaps the biggest reason why you have to like the Sixers’ chances heading into the playoffs is the fact that Joel Embiid finally has a co-star that he can trust in the postseason; I’m not sure that was something we could say with Ben Simmons. No matter how much he would reinforce that thought.

In crunch time, Simmons would often disappear on the offensive end and would hesitate in spots where he needed to step up. That was extremely noticeable toward the end of Simmons’ stint with the Sixers but was likely something that was happening far before last year’s issues.

Next. NBA: 8 big takeaways from the 2022 trade deadline. dark

That will no longer be the issue for Embiid and the Sixers. He won’t feel the pressure of an entire franchise and fan base on his shoulders. He can now share that load with Harden, who has been there plenty of times throughout his career. They’ll still have to come through, but they will be able to lean on each other throughout the process. I’m not sure Embiid and Simmons ever had that on-the-court relationship.