The Philadelphia 76ers have high hopes heading into the 2022-23 season. Despite falling apart in the playoffs last season and eventually losing to the Miami Heat in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the 76ers put together a strong offseason of work and are once again looking to prove they are one of the top teams in a loaded Eastern Conference.
Harden has some high praise for Embiid
One of the reasons for such optimism in Philadelphia is because of Joel Embiid and James Harden, the Sixers' star duo. The early results weren't pretty, but there's hope that Embiid and Harden can unite to lead Philly to the promised land this season.
After a quick stint with the Brooklyn Nets, Harden found his way to the Sixers and has quickly bought into his new team's system. Harden has loved what he's seen in Philadelphia so far, with Embiid being the most impressive part of it all. Harden has played with some superstars throughout his career, but when asked about Embiid, he labeled the star center as "one of one" and even went as far as to say he believes he is still improving, which is frightening for the rest of the NBA.
Harden's outlook for Embiid is frightening for the rest of the NBA
Unless you haven't been watching the NBA, it's been tough not to notice Embiid's recent star ascent. Embiid put together his most complete season to help the 76ers emerge from all the rumors and madness throughout their season last year. Last season would have been catastrophic for Philadelphia if it weren't for him.
Harden recognizes this, especially because his initial scoring struggles contributed to Philly's struggles down the stretch of the season. Harden isn't going to be the best player in Philadelphia this season, but that's OK because he will play a big role in keeping Embiid involved in the offense throughout the season.
How the Harden and Embiid pairing works will play a huge role in determining the success of the Sixers' 2022-23 season. Embiid largely carried the team on his own last season, and while they made some sound moves to shore up their depth, it's clear these two are the key to success for the 76ers. The Sixers have said the right things in the buildup to the season, but it will be interesting to see how the team looks when they take the court to open their regular season campaign next week.