How bad did James Harden play in Friday night’s Game 3 loss to the Boston Celtics?
So bad that ESPN announcers Mark Jones and Doris Burke, usually known for their even-handed, non-abrasive commentary, absolutely roasted the Philadelphia 76ers star after a series of poor shots and/or decisions
Midway through the third quarter, Harden passed up an easy layup and instead threw a weak pass that thankfully was deflected out of bounds and not picked off.
“Wow,” Burke said. “He is completely indecisive.”
“That to me looked like a lack of confidence,” Jones countered.
“Total and complete indecision,” Burke said.
What Harden had probably decided, in fact, is that he was not having a good night, with only one basket in the game to that point.
Doris Burke and Mark Jones can't believe how bad James Harden looks in Game 3. 🏀 pic.twitter.com/6zGKwf38m5
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 6, 2023
Harden finished with 16 points, half of those coming in the final few minutes when the Celtics had a comfortable lead. He hit 3-of-14 shots, and had five turnovers.
One day, Harden will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. These are not the video clips they’ll show during his induction.
The Celtics’ 114-102 victory over the 76ers gives them a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with Game 4 Sunday night in Philadelphia.
Really, this was peak Harden. When he’s on, which is frequently, he’s a force of nature. When he’s off … things get ugly. This makes two games in a row “Bad Harden” has surfaced. He hit 2-of-14 shots in a Game 2 loss. Of course, he exploded for 45 points in Game 1. 76ers fans are still learning to take the bad with the good.
Fans on social media had no mercy for Harden after the loss.
Bench James Harden. Straight up. Its his fault theyre losing.
— Hoops Reference (@HoopsReference) May 6, 2023
James Harden dug a hole for the Sixers that was just too deep.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) May 6, 2023
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 6, 2023
James Harden after selling his soul for game 1 pic.twitter.com/mjaBpluhFt
— 🕷️ (@iaintisiah) May 6, 2023
James Harden tonight:
🧱 16 PTS
🧱 3-14 FG
🧱 2-7 3P
🧱 5 TOV
His 20th playoff game shooting below 25% from the field 🥶🧱 pic.twitter.com/PlvExix9Zw
— BrickMuse (@BrickMuse) May 6, 2023
James Harden had himself a Ben Simmons moment as he passes up on a layup attempt 😬
He's got 8 points on 1-of-9 shooting from the field.pic.twitter.com/3UM4Ubads8
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 6, 2023
James Harden im just… I cant man unbelievable
— Prez💊 (@PresidentEmbiid) May 6, 2023