The James Harden era has officially begun for the 76ers, and they’re undefeated so far. They look to continue this trend against the New York Knicks. It’s the home debut for Philadelphia’s newest superstar, and the city is completely abuzz in anticipation.
In the two games James Harden has played with the Sixers, the team has gone undefeated, winning by a total of 47 points in that span. It’s been an exciting start to Harden’s career in Philadelphia, and his home debut is set to be even more electric.
It’s a tale of two injury reports today as the Knicks are dealing with a bit of the injury bug. Both Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker are out tonight, as are Nerlens Noel, Quinten Grimes, and Luka Samanic. For the 76ers, it’s a clean bill of health minus the players currently with the team’s G League affiliate.
New York Knicks
Derrick Rose – Out (Ankle)
Kemba Walker – Out (Not with team)
Nerlens Noel – Out (Foot)
Quinten Grimes – Out (Kneecap)
Miles McBride – Out (G League)
Luka Samanic – Out (G League)
Charles Bassey – Out (G League)
Jaden Springer – Out (G League)
Myles Powell – Out (G League)
Charlie Brown Jr. – Out (G League)
Player to Watch: James Harden
Yes, Joel Embiid is a human highlight reel but tonight is about James Harden. This is not to say that Harden will outscore Embiid. In fact, it will likely be the opposite, but Harden should take center focus as he continues to prove to be the secondary star Philadelphia needed. With little competition on the other side, Harden will have his way, and another triple-double seems like a sure thing.
In two games with the Sixers so far this season, Harden has averaged 28 points, 9.0 rebounds, 14.0 assists, and 2.5 steals with a slash line of 57.7/57.1/94.7, which are some of the most impressive numbers the team has ever seen. It’s admittedly a very small sample size, but it shows what Harden is capable of, and that’s dominance.
Few teams (if any) can claim two players so dominant as the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid and James Harden. While some detractors still exist, the superstar duo has given no reason to doubt as of yet; it’s unlikely tonight changes that as well.
As the Sixers prepare for the postseason, now is a time for enjoyment. Enjoying the two superstars the team boasts and also the young, exciting talent like Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle as well. The team does have a difficult schedule upcoming, but the Knicks are the easiest matchup over the next five though they shouldn’t take any opponent lightly.
What Do the Numbers Say?
Tonight by all counts, should be a night of celebration for Philly. The home debut of James Harden should go off without a hitch, and the Philadelphia 76ers should have no issue securing a victory. Per Draft Kings, the Sixers are currently favored by 10.5 points. While a double-digit spread is always unnerving, the Sixers have played well enough this season to deserve it. If you’re still unnerved, you could always play a custom spread or a player prop.