MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.–The Philadelphia 76ers officially welcomes James Harden to their lineup on Friday as they took on the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road. It was a highly anticipated debut as he is a future Hall of Famer and he is expected to help the Sixers seriously contend for a title.
It was a terrific start for him on Friday as he had 27 points on 7-for-12 shooting, 5-for-7 from deep, and he had 12 assists and eight rebounds in a 133-102 win over the Timberwolves. Harden made it look easy all night as he was picking his spots and the Sixers were able to benefit from all of it.
It was pretty impressive to see Harden play as well as he did when considering he had not played since Feb. 2 for the Brooklyn Nets.
“For me, I haven’t been on the court in so long, it feels like,” said Harden. “My body feels great, personally, and then just to be around these guys who have the same common goal, coaching staff, and just top to bottom, winning. Tonight, I think defensively we were really good, and that’s what led to our offense being even better.”
With that being said, Harden did say that he didn’t do anything extra special to prepare for this one. He just went through his normal routine as if it was just another game.
“Just a normal game day,” he said. “Just getting my mind right to be the best player on the court.”
With that being said, the Sixers understand that they still have a long way to go. Friday was a good start, and Harden was terrific, but they still need to be able to figure all of this out over the final 23 games. They need to be sure they are ready to go when the games matter in mid-April for the playoffs.
“Tonight was a great start, but we got a long way to go,” Harden finished. “We’ll do whatever it takes every single day to build the great habits so we’re prepared when the time is right.”
This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!