Another year, another second-round playoff exit for the championship-starved Philadelphia 76ers. For the fourth time in five seasons, the franchise ended its postseason journey during the East semifinals, as they lost to the top-seeded Miami Heat, 99-90, in a must-have Game 6 on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center. And the series didn't end with fight from the 76ers -- it ended with a whimper.
James Harden, who was acquired by Philadelphia in a massive deadline deal with the Brooklyn Nets, failed to exorcise his playoff demons this spring. The 32-year-old superstar wilted under pressure in Game 6, scoring just 11 points on nine total shots with nine assists, four boards, and four turnovers. He also attempted only two shots in the second half, missing both, and made his last shot with less than four minutes remaining in the first half. Harden's no-show, coupled with 20 points from MVP runner-up Joel Embiid, sealed their fate.
"I'm not mad, not sad at all. I'm not mad at James Harden for not showing up. You want to know why? Because he never shows up -- he's a regular season player," Andrew Perloff said during Maggie and Perloff on Friday. "Anyone who expected him to be a championship difference-maker was delusional. I'm not mad at Doc Rivers -- he had a crap roster. All this blaming of Rivers makes no sense... This was a culmination of so many moves that had gone wrong."
"We've got to live in the here and now -- can't blame 'The Process' anymore. The Process is over," Maggie Gray said. "But I can blame just run-of-the mill, terrible decision-making. And I can blame bad coaching. People in the NBA, especially Daryl Morey, is supposed to know whether or not James Harden's totally washed. Unless this was some massive conspiracy, there's no reason why Morey shouldn't have known he was going to be this much of a zero."
Maggie and Perloff's complete thoughts on the Sixers' postseason exit can be accessed in the audio player above.