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Rooting for the Miami Heat

But really just rooting against James Harden

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Last week we discussed — and voted — for the teams you want to see continue as the NBA Playoffs continue.

81% of you are rooting for the Miami Heat. Personally, I am with you...but for probably different reasons.

For starters, I like Doc Rivers. And from a Spurs perspective, hard not to root for a former player who donned the Silver & Black.

Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers Game Portrait Photo by Andy Hayt/NBAE via Getty Images

In that vein, to this day I am still a fan of Danny Green.

2014 NBA Finals - Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Andrew D Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Joel Embiid, a perspective MVP, is showing the league why the center position still deserves respect in a 3-point-oriented game.

And if there were no Spurs affiliations and the best big man in the league wasn’t anchoring the team, Tyrese Maxey’s emergence is enough to get even the casual basketball fan excited.

But, the Philadelphia 76ers have James Harden.

And I cannot get on board with any team when The Beard is on the roster.

For one, the former MVP was the longtime centerpiece of the Houston Rockets. As a Spurs fan, I can’t go for that.

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images

Second, I struggle with supporting any player who forces his way off a team in the chase for a ring. It’s not the fault of the player, the league is designed for this sort of fickle team affiliation, but I still find it reprehensible to leave a team in your wake. I think any fan of guys like David Robinson, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili have a right to feel that way.

Third, setting aside James Harden’s amazing skill set, he built his career on getting to the line with what should have always been called offensive fouls. Again, not his fault, the league is to blame. Harden is playing the hand dealt to him. But, in my opinion, the jumping into defensive players routine diminishes his greatness.

So, there you have it. Doesn’t matter who the 76ers faced in the playoffs. Harden sitting on the sideline was a deal-breaker for me.

A 35-point loss and a 2-3 hole as they head back to Philly for an elimination game is just what I was hoping to see.

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