With the 2021-22 NBA regular season already on the books, it's time for the Philadelphia 76ers to prove whether they truly are ready to fight for the championship or if the doubters were right all these months.

The Sixers may have given reasons for optimism throughout the year, but they have also fueled skepticism by dropping a number of shocking defeats. The moment of truth will begin on Saturday, when they take on the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs.

It will also mean the beginning of a season-defining (or maybe career-defining) moment for James Harden, who has suffered a number of painful playoff exits in his previous teams. Here's what Joel Embiid had to say about Harden's playoff record and how he can make things different this time.

Joel Embiid explains why James Harden has struggled to win a ring

"Whatever happened in the past, you look back at what he's accomplished and what he's done, he had to play against a dynasty," Embiid said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. "It would have been hard for anybody to beat those Golden State teams, so bad timing. But I'm sure it's going to be fine."

Harden's talent is undeniable. However, his ability to win big games has been questioned as he has fallen short in all playoff runs with the Thunder, Rockets, and Nets. But according to Embiid, he just needs to believe in himself and not let the outside noise affect him.

"I tell him to be himself. He's been doing a great job of being the playmaker, but we need him to be aggressive and really score the ball, especially against Toronto," Embiid said. "With the way they guard me, we're going to need everybody. We're going to need Tyrese [Maxey] to be aggressive with all the attention that's going to be on me and James. Tyrese, Tobias [Harris], all the other guys, they have to make plays. He just has to be himself, and not worry about people talking about pressure."

Embiid has put the team on his back throughout the entire season, but he certainly needs help to continue to take the Sixers to new heights. And that's precisely why Harden arrived, to make Embiid a better player and the Sixers a better team. Only time will tell if these playoffs turn out to be different for him.