Stephen A. Smith was on fire last night, and barring extinguishing is likely going to be completely immolated by the end of Friday’s First Take:
Stephen A. Smith on James Harden and Doc Rivers after the Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated by the Miami Heat. 🏀🔥 pic.twitter.com/yL3YVij1dp
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 13, 2022
“It was a horrific performance, anemic and impotent performance.”
Now, the last person to demand investigation of a Philly team or athlete was Sal Paolantonio. That was when the Birds tanked the Week 17 Washington game and put themselves into a fantastic draft position despite hurting the “integrity of the game” or some other such horseshit. Sal was completely off his rocker at the time, but Stephen A.’s criticism is on point here. Harden totally vanished in the second half. Houdini and Copperfield couldn’t team up to replicate that disappearing act.
It’s true that Harden is not a 30+ points a night guy anymore, and he plays more of a facilitator role these days, but he scored at will in Game 4 and with Joel Embiid struggling he’s gotta alter his game and take on more of the scoring load. He looked like he was playing a regular season game out there, and don’t even get me started on the defense and lack of effort on the glass. That play where Jimmy Butler got the offensive rebound and then hit a three in his face was BRUTAL.