The Philadelphia 76ers seemed to be a lock for the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs after being up 3-0 in their best of seven series with the Toronto Raptors.
Things are tight for the 76ers, who are now only up 3-2 in the series, heading back to Toronto for a game 6. James Harden has been struggling in the last few games of the series, and someone has a theory as to why.
On ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith suggested that Harden maybe throw this series to get D’Antoni in there:
Smith believes Harden may throw the series to get Doc Rivers fired and Mike D’Antoni hired. Suppose the 76ers can’t recover and win either Game 6 and Game 7 and become the first team to blow a 3-0 series lead. In that case, there is a big chance that Rivers loses his job, and a guy like D’Antoni could step in, considering his relationship with the 76ers general manager Daryl Morey and Harden.
Harden hasn’t been the same player since his MVP season a few years ago. In that same First Take segment, JJ Redick suggested that Harden has many miles on him and maybe be past his prime. If that is the case, an argument can be made that both can be true.