Before the Philadelphia 76ers’ game against the Houston Rockets on Friday, head coach Brett Brown was asked if he has any strategies on how to stop James Harden’s scoring outburst. The reigning MVP leads the league in scoring with 36.6 points per game. Brown said that one important factor that his team needs to focus on is being relentless on defense.
“The elite scorers, I mean people that can get buckets in bunches, from the variety of ways that James does it, there is no other sort of thing that comes to your mind other than a relentless discipline of where is he. Whether it’s in early offense in the first three seconds of the shot clock, whether you think whatever play is run is dead and then you got to go find him. You’d say the same thing with Steph Curry. You’d say the same thing with Kevin Durant. You’ll certainly say the same thing with James.”
However, that scheme doesn’t seem to work as the Rockets lead the Sixers 59-44 at halftime, with Harden scoring 20 points already.
Well, Sixers guard Ben Simmons was able to stop him one time, but that’s about it.
— NBA (@NBA) March 9, 2019
The Sixers will need to play better defense in the second half if they want to have a significant chance of overcoming this deficit and winning the game.
Without Joel Embiid, that task makes it more difficult for Philly.