James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers, doesn’t feel pressure to enter playoffs. He’s’ready for hoop’

CAMDEN, N.J. — His first postseason in PhiladelphiaSet to begin Saturday against Toronto Raptors, James HardenHe stated that he does not feel under any pressure to perform well in his new job.

“Pressure, no. After Thursday's practice at the team facility, Harden smiled after it. “I'm ready and willing to hoop. It's easy.

Harden will need be against the Raptors. They gave him fits in the meetings between the teams after the blockbuster trade that saw Harden come to Philadelphia. Ben SimmonsIn February. Both the 76ers and Toronto All-Stars lost both those games by five points. Fred VanVleetForward OG AnunobyHarden, who was wearing street clothes, shot 7-for-24 from field and 1-for-8 3-point range from the point of view of Harden while turning nine times.

Harden answered the question, “What makes Toronto such a difficult matchup?”. It was their activity and togetherness defensively. Not to mention having a large roster of long-limbed athletes.

Harden stated, “They fly around.” They work extremely hard. They are a complete mess. They have many tall, athletic, long-lasting, and solid defenders. They make good use of their length and have each other's backs. They run around, scramble, and fly defensively. For us, we need to execute. Make sure our passes are precise and take advantage of any opportunities.

However, Harden will need to continue playing at the level Philadelphia wanted him to when he was acquired – that is, a star of high-level who can win playoff games. Philly's other star, Joel EmbiidHe said that he knows exactly what Toronto's gameplan will be. Throwing double- and triple-teams at him in order to get the ball out of their hands and requiring his teammates to make plays.

He stated that he was perfectly fine with it. As a result, he is not entering this series to try and score but rather to make sure his teammates are involved.

Embiid explained that he is not going into the series expecting to average 40. “They're going get the ball out my hands. I have to stop getting frustrated, trust my teammates, and make the right plays. It doesn't really matter how many or how few points, as long as we are scoring, that's my mindset. And it all starts with me. I don't care how much attention they give me. All I have to do is make my teammates better.

Harden is included in that group, Embiid stating that he needs to ignore the noise from his previous playoff struggles. Harden's playoff career has been marred by several losses, including one to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 6. San Antonio Spurs2017: A Game 7 loss to the Golden State WarriorsThe following year, both at work and at home.

Embiid however said that his co-star should be himself and let everything else happen.

He should be himself. He's done a great job being the playmaker. But we need him to be more aggressive and score the ball, especially in Toronto,” Embiid explained. “With how they guard me, it's going to be a need for everyone. Tyrese must be aggressive in order to take advantage of all the attention that will be paid to me, James, Tyrese. Tobias and all the other guys. He needs to be himself and not worry about others talking about pressure. No matter what happened in the past. He had to face a dynasty. It would have been difficult for anyone to beat those Golden State teams. But it will be fine, I'm certain.

Embiid and Harden are both healthy, which is a good sign. Embiid admitted that he wasn’t “fully healthy,” but that he feels good. Harden, however, said that the lingering hamstring problems that plagued him since last year are not an issue.

Harden said, “It is good.” “I've been doing sprints this week and some hamstring exercises, so it's a great week to prepare me for the first round.”

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