Barring any shocking, sports world-shattering developments on the NBA’s final day, the Sixers will have the first teammates to lead the league in both scoring and assists since the 1981-82 season.
Joel Embiid (33.1 points per game) and James Harden (10.7 assists per game) are set to be the first teammates with that achievement since George Gervin and Johnny Moore on the ’81-82 San Antonio Spurs.
Luka Doncic is at 32.4 points per game and done for the season. So is Embiid; he’s one of six Sixers ruled out for the team’s Sunday afternoon matchup against the Nets. Anything can technically happen in a game — someone scoring 800 points, for instance — but Embiid has essentially clinched the scoring title.
Embiid will be the first Sixer to do that in consecutive seasons since Allen Iverson in 2000-01 and ’01-02. He’ll be the first center with consecutive scoring titles since Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo from 1973-74 through ’75-76.
Harden is also unsurprisingly among the many stars sitting out Game No. 82 for teams that know exactly what’s next and want to avoid any unnecessary risks. The Sixers expect to have him and Embiid available for their first-round playoff series against Brooklyn.
The 33-year-old Harden played 58 games this season, which is the minimum number required to qualify for the assists title. First-time All-Star Tyrese Haliburton will fall two short of the 58-game mark, so Trae Young (10.2 assists per game) will finish No. 2 and Nikola Jokic (9.8) will be No. 3.
This year’s assists title will be the second of Harden’s career. He’s dished out 4.2 of those 10.7 per game to Embiid.
Harden this season has risen to 20th on the NBA’s all-time assist list, passing players such as Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Muggsy Bogues, Guy Rodgers and Bob Cousy. He’s also gone up to 25th on the league’s all-time scoring list and passed Iverson in late February.