CHARLESTON, S.C.-As the Philadelphia 76ers come together for training camp at The Citadel in Charleston, SC, the focus is on James Harden. The Beard begins his first full season with the Sixers after the big deadline deal and there is tons of anticipation surrounding the coming season.
In 21 games in the 2021-22 season with Philadelphia after the deal, Harden averaged 21 points, 10.5 assists, and 7.1 rebounds as he really had a solid run based on those numbers. However, his efficiency was down from his usual standards and he didn't have the same explosion to the basket.
After a summer of being able to rest his nagging hamstring, a time where Harden said he had some dark days, the expectation is that he will at least look a bit better in the coming season. On day 1 of training camp on Tuesday, his teammates noticed a difference in how he looked.
Danuel House Jr.
"You're gonna be impressed with what he did this offseason. It's just day 1, he ran, look at him over there. My man is putting extra shots up. He came with it today, he led, guided, listen, direct. Doing what leaders do."
"He looked fine. He was trying to run the team more than score today so you didn't see a lot of-but there were a couple of buckets when we needed a bucket so you clearly saw him assert himself. He was good."
"He looked good. Him running the 1 and me being the first time really practicing and stuff like that, I get to see how he processes stuff and it's important for me to be able to play off of him and play with him. James is gonna be James, he's always going to be very good. Nobody's too worried about him here."
More Rivers on Harden
"If you start judging him 'Well, he averaged 30 in Houston, but he's only averaging 20 here', that's insane. We have a lot of guys that can score. In Houston, he had to score all the time. Here, the No. 1 option is Joel (Embiid), alright? James has never been the second option. Tyrese (Maxey) is a major option for us, Tobias (Harris) is an option for us, so he doesn't have to shoot as much."
Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire