When was the last time you heard Oohs and Aahs from the crowd just from a player accelerating? Honestly, watching this game live, I also got excited. After the game James Harden stayed in the arena for some extra cardio and speed work, and this is something that he regularly did in Houston.Now you can fully understand how much the hamstring was actually bothering him at the start of the season.Comparing this sequence from the beginning, to how the Beard looks now on the court, these are 2 completely different players.And he makes Philadelphia a deadly playoff team. Let me break it down. What up everybody, my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.Before we even talk about himself, check out what Harden does for the team.Harden is such a danger that his pick and roll with Embiid all the way out, focuses the entire zone defense by Bulls looking that way, so look at how much time Matisse Thybulle has under the basket and he scores some of the easiest points of the night.Again, the sheer threat of James Harden is so big that Thybulle pretends to screen for him here, and look at how Javonte Green jumps out. All of a sudden Thybule finds himself with an open lane and a quick pocket pass from Harden gets him an easy layup.This is a guy that’s known as a bad shooter, and overall not an offensive threat but rather a defender. So for him to get easy points like this is a huge bonus for the team and courtesy of the beard.Another player who I bet is air boxing with excitement ever since the trade is Georges Niang.When you see him on the court, the way he moves and his body type- it’s no wonder why his nickname is the minivan. I mean look at this. Who does this?Anyway, enough with the minivan slander because this guy is a career 40% three point shooter.Dude is a sniper if you leave him open. And just look at how many open looks he’s getting off of Harden double teams, and this is an extremely underrated opportunity for the sixers in the playoffs.The Beard finished with 14 assists dishing it out to everyone on the team, and even tho he had a bad shooting night, he’s actually been terrific since getting there shooting 53.1% from the field and 44.8% from downtown. Both his speed and his aggressiveness are back. He takes opponents off the dribble and goes to the rim, and against Chicago it was either a layup or a faul.The good old Harden that we know. Through the first 5 games in Philly, Harden has shot 47 free throws, which is miles away from the 15 that he shot in the first 5 games of the season when everyone thought he doesn’t have it in him anymore. Or that the new rules are affecting him.Since he came to the Sixers, their free throw attempts literally skyrocketed and they are shooting and making by far the most free throws than any team in the league. And this is another grossly underrated aspect for playoff basketball. Joel Embiid had yet another one of those nights where he is absolutely unstoppable.43 points and 14 rebounds, he looked like a grown man among kids. The fact that the Bulls did not have their starting center for this game made things even easier for Embiid, but I don’t think that any team in the east can stop him in the playoffs. They can only try to slow him down.As if he saw my video yesterday where I criticized everyone who said that he is the frontrunner for the MVP award, so he had to deliver.All jokes aside tho, Joel actually gave props to Jokic himself for the way he’s been playing this season.EMBIID VIDEOYesterday,after I explained in the video why Jokic is equally deserving for the MVP, somebody asked me in the comments what would be the case for Embiid.And I replied that he is just as unstoppable offensively and better on defense. Also counting this last game he now has ten 40+ point games compared to Jokic who only has 2. These are the type of statement games that sometimes can get you publicity and in a tight race, these small things matter.Also now with Harden, the Sixers are heating up and could make the win-loss gap significant enough to matter at the end.But yeah shoutout to both big men for their monster seasons so far.And now, let me cross over to the Chicago Bulls and point out a staggering number for them.Get ready for this: The Bulls are 0-14 against the top 3 teams in both conferences.Let me say that again, the Bulls have not won a game and are 0-4 against Philly, 0-3 against Miami, 0-2 against Milwaukee, Golden State and Memphis, and lost the first game to Phoenix.Wooow, that’s a lot for a playoff contending team. Of course, they’re probably the team that’s been impacted the most by injuries.Nikola Vucevic did not play last night, and of course, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and Patrick Williams have been out for a large portion of the season. These are all big pieces to this team. But at the same time, I do not think that they can beat any of those top 3 teams in the east even at full strength.