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Since James Harden rejoined the lineup on Dec. 5, the Sixers are 26-8 with the NBA’s fourth-ranked offense, 11th-ranked defense and fifth-ranked net rating. On the year, Philadelphia is 38-19, eighth in offensive rating, seventh in defensive rating and sixth in net rating.
While there’s a level of balance in those numbers, it’s been hard for the Sixers to string together complete two-way performances and showcase that equilibrium. They tend to either simply outscore teams in shootouts or stifle opposing offenses in rock fights. Deciphering whether this team is defined by its offense or its defense entering the postseason is a bit challenging According to a recent poll, though, 81 percent of participants are more confident in Philadelphia’s offense rather than its defense.
Given the disparity since Harden returned 34 games ago, it’s understandable why voters hold more trust in the offense. With 25 games remaining until the playoffs, it’ll be interesting to see how the Sixers continue to perform and whether this result will remain come mid-April.
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