Thomsen: Heat 'ought to be scared' of 76ers' star duo controlling Game 5


Philadelphia 76ers superstar guard James Harden silenced his staunch critics on Sunday night inside Wells Fargo Center, scoring a team-high 31 points in a 116-108 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the East semifinals. Not only did he help his team tie the series at two games apiece, but he also snapped his 12-game streak of being held under 25 points during the postseason.

It's unclear whether Harden's offensive explosion will carry over into Game 5 on Tuesday night in South Beach, but the championship-starved Sixers have an edge. Their league MVP finalist, Joel Embiid, returned to action in Game 3 after missing the first two games with a right orbital fracture and concussion. Both stars scored a combined 55 points in Game 4, and longtime NBA writer Ian Thomsen believes that Miami should be feeling the... well, heat.

"I think [Harden] got swept up in the [environment]. So, what's he's going to do with that now? He's got Embiid playing just as heroically going into Miami with the mask," Thomsen explained to The DA Show on Tuesday. "Not himself, but giving everything that he has. What's James Harden going to do? This is a guy who's spent his whole career playing poorly in the biggest games.

"This is his chance to undo all that, and to really change the way that people view him. And that's why I think Miami ought to be scared. I don't think that anybody should take for granted that they know what's going to happen in the next game. That they know how valuable Joel Embiid's going to be for this team, how James Harden's going to react to it. It's a real wild card."

Philadelphia, which clinched the East's fourth seed with a 51-31 overall record, will play Game 5 against Miami on Tuesday night (7:30 ET tipoff) at FTX Arena. According to FiveThirtyEight projections, the Sixers have a 51-percent chance to reach the Eastern Conference Finals and a 17-percent chance to make the NBA Finals for the first time since 2001. They haven't won a title since 1983.

The entire NBA conversation between Thomsen and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow The DA Show on Twitter @DAonCBS and @CBSSportsRadio, and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.