A sluggish start has plagued the Philadelphia 76ers. Although the Sixers have already faced two potential NBA title contenders in the 2022–23 season, their 90–88 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night has already given them a disadvantage. Additionally, the Bucks’ most recent defeat came at the hands of an undermanned Bucks squad that was missing injured teammates Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton, a crucial reserve.
The fact that James Harden truly performed like an MVP in each of those games makes it even more difficult for the Sixers and their supporters to accept their defeats. Harden once again outperformed himself on Thursday, scoring 31 points on 13 of 24 field goal attempts while also filling the stat sheet with eight rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and a block. He only made one of seven shots from beyond the arc, but despite playing with a lot of possessions, he only committed two turnovers.
James Harden this season:
35 PTS | 8 REB | 7 AST
31 PTS | 8 REB | 9 AST
— StatMuse (@statmuse) October 21, 2022
More Twitter responses to the Sixers’ early-season troubles are provided below.
Sixers fans seeing James Harden return to MVP form but they are 0-2 pic.twitter.com/QVgejlmbPX
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) October 21, 2022
Harden they didn t wanna believe us when we said you were injured man
— chealsea (@chealseagbeint) October 21, 2022
I haven t seen Harden cook in the midrange like this since the Obama administration
— (@Three_Cone) October 21, 2022
waste of time and energy to care about the Sixers until Glenn is gone
— Nick Piccone (@_piccone) October 21, 2022
Not panic time for the #Sixers. They’re integrating new pieces and have played the top two teams in the East. That said, there’s clearly work to be done.
— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) October 21, 2022
Harden to Embiid right now pic.twitter.com/JZJSkHkUMp
— Jay (@sixersJay) October 21, 2022
I feel like a broken record but it is a miracle the Sixers have been in these games when our best player has been a disaster
— Subscribe to the You Know Ball Patreon (@TrillBroDude) October 21, 2022
All things considered, I expected more rust than what we saw. Bucks collapse was awful but to beat the sixers at home, when they already had a game under their belt, with no Khris and without your best bench scorer, that s big
— (@SnellSZN) October 21, 2022
Doc watched the Sixers go on a run without Embiid, subbed him in & called 3 separate iso plays for him fire him, please I ll donate to his contract buyout @dmorey
— dee (@CallMeDee_11) October 21, 2022
As you can tell from the comments made above, Joel Embiid has also drawn some disapproval from Sixers supporters. In 36 minutes against the Bucks, Embiid managed just 15 points on a shockingly poor 6-of-21 shooting from the field. Additionally, he appeared to lack aggression as he only made two out of three free throws.
However, to be fair to him, he had a better plus-minus of +2 than Embiid, who finished with a plus/minus of -10. Tobias Harris, who is meant to be the third wheel for Harden and Embiid, also struggled in the Bucks game, giving up just nine points.
When the Sixers play the San Antonio Spurs at home on Saturday, they will be the overwhelming favourites to win.
First on ClutchPoints was the postSixers Twitter goes radioactive with reactions to falling 0-2 versus the Bucks and Celtics.