James Harden dropped 18 points and added 9 rebounds and 7 assists in the Philadelphia 76ers loss to the lowly Detroit Pistons last night. The stats look fairly decent, and Harden was close to a triple-double. In the NBA, the numbers don’t always tell the story.

Sixers coach Doc Rivers called out James Harden in the aftermath of the embarrassing loss. Just last week, Harden was carrying Philadelphia on his back. The stunning drop-off in his game has Rivers concerned.

Many Sixers fans were blaming the bench for the loss. Rivers was not buying it. In his post-game comments, he specifically named James as the problem.

“Well, [the bench players] didn’t struggle. They didn’t get a lot of shots in their defense. I think during that stretch, it was more James than them. So you know, yeah, it’s just a tough night.”

James Harden is known to be a player who can be difficult to motivate at times. The 76ers have NBA title aspirations. That kind of performance won’t cut it for Doc Rivers’ team.

Philadelphia is still in good shape heading towards the playoffs. They will almost definitely qualify for the tournament. If James Harden’s play continues to slip, the Sixers won’t last long.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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