After announcing the starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game last week, the league will reveal its 14-man reserves in Thursday’s 2023 edition. Inside the NBAPhiladelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid should be a Rock of choice after escaping the starting lineup, but he’s not the only Sixers player who deserves to make the team.
He missed about a month of action with a foot injury earlier this season, but Sixers guard James Harden should join Embiid for the All-Star Game in mid-February.
In 34 games this season, Harden is averaging 21.4 points on 44.9% shooting, 11.0 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 2.9 3-pointers in 36.7 minutes per game. He also hit a career-high 39.4% after making his season-high six 3-pointers in his 105-94 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday against the Sixers. I’m shooting from the deep of.
Harden hasn’t scored like he did in his prime with the Houston Rockets, but the Sixers don’t need him. They should be the main playmakers and secondary scorers behind Embiid, who leads the league with a career-high 33.5 points per game on a career-high 53.4% shooting.
“this is, [to] “I decided to become a point guard,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers told reporters in December while praising Harden. I can’t — or I’m not going to do it, and the fact that he’s willing to do it and run the team and organize us means a lot to us.”
Harden has averaged a He is one of only three players with at least 20 points and 10 assists. ). No other Sixers player averaged five assists per game.
Harden hasn’t played in 70% of Sixers games (he’s one game shy after Wednesday’s Magic win), so he’s not yet eligible for the NBA’s statistical leaderboards. However, if he does qualify, he will pass Halliburton for the league-leading assists.
Embiid is still the Sixers’ main offensive focus, but Harden is the best tablesetter he’s played. Harden has assisted 141 of his 426 maids baskets for Embiid this season, and with the rest of Embiid’s teammates combined, he has assisted 135 maids his baskets.
With Harden and Embiid on the court, the Sixers are averaging 122.2 points per 100 possessions, beating their opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions. With Harden playing without Embiid, the Sixers are only averaging 115.9 points per 100 possessions, beating their opponents by 1.5 points per 100.
The Sixers are averaging 118.5 points per 100 possessions with Harden on the court this season. They scored just 110.7 points per 100 possessions, and with Harden off the floor, they rank 27th overall in the league, trailing the San Antonio Spurs (110.4), Houston Rockets (109.1) and Charlotte. Hornets (109.0).
If Harden’s influence on the Sixers’ offense alone isn’t enough to make him an All-Star, advanced metrics also help back up his claim.
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers were named the Eastern Conference backcourt starters. So Harden is Halliburton, Boston Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown, Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland, Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, and Chicago Bulls swingman. A DeMar DeRozan and others will be competing for either one of two reserve backcourt spots or one of two wild spots. -card nod (can go to either guard or frontcourt player).
Among that sextet, Harden ranks second in PER, box plus/minus and value to substitute players, trailing only Halliburton in each. He’s his third in that group in total win percentage, but mostly because he has the least playing time of any team. 200 winning percentage per 48 minutes, he leads all of them. He also leads them all with a 61.9 true shooting percentage.
Harden has been downgraded as a relatively neutral defender this season, but stands out in the offensive all-in-one metrics. The 33-year-old ranks 11th in the Danks and Threes offensive estimates plus/minus, just halfway between Mitchell and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker. (Irving is his 13th.) Halliburton is the only Eastern his conference guard ahead of him.
Harden is also tied for 16th overall in offensive box plus/minus and 18th in offensive win shares. No other player has played less than 36 games in the top 20 of the latter metric.
“I’m not going to sit here and argue that I should be an All-Star,” Harden said. told reporters After winning Magic on Wednesday. “The numbers show it, our species shows it. It’s going to be 11 years in a row for me, so obviously it’s always an honor. You never take it for granted.” I don’t want to think about it.It means you are doing something right.You are the impact on the team and the game.If my name is called, great.If not,for the season There are bigger and better goals.
According to the FanDuel Sportsbook, the Sixers are now +1200 to win the Finals this year, trailing only six other teams. That’s probably what Harden meant when he mentioned “bigger, better goals.”
Still, he’s done enough in that time to deserve an All-Star Game spot.
All statistics are from NBA.com, PBP Stats, glass cleaning Also basketball referenceAll payroll information via . spot rack Also Real GM. All odds FanDuel Sportsbook.