The Philadelphia 76ers have been battling a slew of injuries early this season and some of their biggest stars have missed time. Joel Embiid is back in the lineup after a four-game absence, and the team is still awaiting the return of Tyrese Maxey. Today, news broke that James Harden is set to return to the Sixers for their upcoming three-game road trip.
Harden has missed the last twelve games in a row for the Sixers and last played on 11/2. He came to Philadelphia before the trade deadline, sending Ben Simmons and Seth Curry to the Brooklyn Nets. In 30 total games for the 76ers, Harden averaged (21.3) points, (7.1) rebounds and (10.3) assists per game. Philly will be happy to get that product back to the starting lineup.
NBA betting sites have the Sixers at (+1600) to win the Finals this season.
Sources: Two popular damage updates:
– Bucks star Khris Middleton is getting closer to his season debut, possibly as soon as Friday. Lakers.
– 76ers star James Harden is targeting a return on the current three-game road trip, possibly Monday in Houston.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 30, 2022
Harden’s return is targeted for next Monday in Houston
There’s no doubt the Sixers want Harden back in the lineup. He is the talented scorer and elite player they need. But in the 12 games he’s missed this season, the Sixers have gone 8-4 and won three straight. In 2022-23, Harden went 4-5 in nine games for the 76ers. Those numbers shouldn’t be shocking, they should be reassuring.
Philadelphia has other scorers and playmakers capable of providing what the team needs to win. SG Sheik leads Milton in three of their last four games with 22, 24 and 29 points. If Harden returns on Monday, he will face his former team, the Houston Rockets. It’s been a tough season for Houston so far. The Rockets are 5-15 which is last in the Western Conference. A comeback against Houston could be the catalyst for a draft that needs Harden to play at his best when he returns.