The Sixers have the edge
Our updated TrueHoop Championship Bus
BY DAVID THORPE
Well, the TrueHoop Championship Bus capacity has shrunk to eight, maybe more of a Championship Shuttle.
We have some heavyweight prizefights happening right now in the second round. The two best teams in the East are duking it out, with the Sixers landing a huge Game 1 haymaker from the hands of James Harden. The Nuggets have already darkened the Suns chances. Jimmy Butler drew first blood against the Knicks. Plus, a battle between two of the greatest to ever play the game awaits us tonight in Los Angeles.
But there can be only one champion. Here’s how the ride looks today.
The front row
There’s a reason why we have the term “Harden game.”
James Harden’s always been more focused with the game on the line, but he came out scorching in Game 1. That was crucial in the first half, because the Celtics were creating easy shots and the Sixers were still able to make it a battle. One could argue the Sixers would have had enough to come back even if they went down 20 in the first half. Yeah, maybe. But you risk a deflated spirit with an early deficit—especially without your MVP—and Harden just wouldn’t let that happen. He kept the game competitive, and then he put it away.
When Harden is this good, he gives the Sixers a second real superstar. That alone should boost the Sixers’ confidence. They know he can’t do it every game, but he doesn’t have to when Embiid’s playing. Of course, getting spark-plug Tyrese Maxey going was also important, but the Celtics just couldn’t keep Harden from doing his thing.
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