Here's why Philadelphia 76ers vs Brooklyn Nets is the play-off matchup we all need

The Eastern Conference play-offs are already shaping up nicely, but there would be no better way to kick them off than a grudge match between the Sixers and the Nets.

Ever since James Harden got traded from the Nets to the Sixers, there's been nothing but bad blood between the two fanbases.

Nets fans are upset over the fact that they felt Harden quit on the team despite multiple instances of him not giving his full effort on the court, never mind the fact that his scoring numbers were down significantly.

Seeing it from Harden's perspective, he had every right to be upset at the fact that Kyrie Irving was only part-time due to his refusal to get vaccinated. But apparently, most of his frustration was directed towards head coach Steve Nash, which is also understandable due to his questionable management of the side, with some bizarre rotations.

However, if Harden truly wants to win a championship, why would he leave Kevin Durant? Joel Embiid questioned that very decision, with many others viewing it as an admission that Durant is better than him.

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers

Plus, if Harden wants to leave a legacy as one of the greatest players the game has ever seen, then he's got to step up and lead his team through adversity rather than leave a team with a hurt Durant and an inconsistent Irving.

Harden has proven that he can lead a team in the regular season, but the biggest knock of his career so far is that he has consistently fallen short in the play-offs.

If he doesn't get it done in Philly, then him forcing his way out of Brooklyn will only make him look worse.

Beginning of a rivalry?

James Harden, Brooklyn Nets

The rivalry technically began back in 2019, when Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler all teamed up to dismantle the Nets in the play-offs.

However, the rivalry never grew from there, as Simmons ended up forcing his way out of Philly to become the centerpiece of the Harden trade.

But now, with Harden becoming a huge part of the dynamic between these two teams, it's safe to say that the rivalry has never been bigger.

The Nets absolutely destroyed the Sixers last time out, with Durant, Irving, and Seth Curry inflicting much of the damage offensively, while Irving shut down Harden on defense.

The Nets came out wanting to make a statement and prove that they're the team to beat, while also sticking it to Harden.

A play-off matchup between these two teams will be blockbuster viewing, and with the Sixers looking for revenge, it couldn't make a more fascinating storyline.

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