According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard James Harden suffered a tendon strain in his right and “is expected to miss a month.” A team source has confirmed this news to Liberty Ballers.
Harden played 35 minutes in Philadelphia’s 121-111 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday and dropped 24 points (8-of-18 shooting), 10 assists, five rebounds and one steal. The veteran star was off to an impressive start in his first nine games of the year, averaging 22 points (59.1 percent true shooting), 10 assists, seven rebounds and 1.1 steals.
In his absence, the Sixers will presumably insert De’Anthony Melton into the starting lineup and direct much more of the offense through Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey again, as they did prior to Harden’s arrival last February.
The impact of Harden’s injury is hard to overstate. He’s by far the team’s best playmaker, and Philadelphia is not ripe with ball-handling options behind him. The attention he commands opens things up for everyone, especially Embiid and Maxey, who have thrived offensively playing off of his gravity since he joined the team last season.
If the reported timeline of one month is accurate, Harden would miss 14 games spanning from Nov. 4 through Dec. 2, including notable matchups with the Phoenix Suns (Nov. 7), Milwaukee Bucks (Nov. 18), Cleveland Cavaliers (Nov. 30) and Memphis Grizzlies (Dec. 2).