October 2, 2023

James Harden to Miss a Month With Right Foot Tendon Strain


PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 25: James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers look on in the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors during Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round at Wells Fargo Center on April 25, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Well, this is not the news you need after a tough start to the season.

According to ESPN 76ers Point Guard James Harden is expected to miss a month with a right foot tendon strain.

Over the last few seasons, Harden has been struggling to get fully healthy with a lingering hamstring issue, which seemed so far this season to be healed. Now with this foot injury, the team is going to have to figure out how to get back on track without arguably their second-best player early in the season.

Opportunity for Tyrese Maxey

With Harden out for a month, the 76ers will turn Point Guard duties to Tyrese Maxey. Maxey has had experience running the offense as he did last year while Ben Simmons was holding out for a trade. One of the ways the offense may improve with Maxey at the point instead of Harden is transition. When Maxey gets the ball in his hands there are not many players in the NBA who can keep up with him in transition, so that aspect of their offense may change. Maxey has all-star potential, and I believe he shows that while Harden is out.

Joel Being MVP Joel

Joel Embiid is no stranger to having an All-Star Point Guard miss time. Last year while Ben Simmons was sidelined he was able to elevate his game to levels we have never seen before. We’re going to need to see that again from the big man. Last season he averaged 30.6 ppg with arguably a worse roster. So while Embiid needs to step up, the other role players on the team need to do as well. Embiid has had a slow start to the season but his scoring numbers had been up before the non-covid illness that has kept him out the last few games. Embiid has shown that he can carry a team by himself for months on end, and he’s gonna need to do it again.

Doc Rivers on the Hot Seat

There is no question that 76ers fans are frustrated with Head Coach Doc Rivers. After failing to advance past the second round, constantly calling out the fans, and making questionable player rotations people have started calling for his job. Now with Harden out it could make or break Doc Rivers’ time here in Philadelphia. If he can get the most out of his new role players, and go on a run with Harden out, he could secure his job until at least the end of the season. But if the team spirals and has a rough month without Harden, Doc might not survive.

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