James Harden expected to miss one month with foot strain

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Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden reacts after being fouled by Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija, back left, of Israel, while shooting in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Philadelphia 76ers season has not started out how they wanted, and that trend continues with superstar point guard James Harden being revealed to be out for a month due to a right foot tendon strain per Adrian Wojnarowski.

For Philadelphia, the Sixers were off to a rocky start to the season, losing five of their first nine games. Between confusion about bench minutes, odd comments from head coach Doc Rivers, and constant chatter about Rivers being on the hot seat, the season has been underwhelming for Philadelphia, to say the least.

However, James Harden has been one of the brightest spots for Philadelphia early in the season. His return to form and incredible playmaking have been game-changing for Philadelphia. Some were even looking at Harden as a dark horse for MVP.

James Harden is currently averaging 22.0 points per game, along with 7.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists. His 22.0 points per game put him as a top 25 scorer in the league during this very young season, while his 10.0 assists put him second, behind only Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns.

His efficiency has also gone up this year compared to last, thanks to a full offseason of health and exercise. His field goal percentage went from 40.2% last year with Philly to 44.1% this year. His three-point percentage also moved up, going from 32.6% to 33.3%. On top of that, Harden is the only player in the NBA right now, averaging 20 points and 10 assists a night.

This is a heartbreaking loss for Philadelphia, but it’s better that it happened early in the season rather than late. His playmaking, scoring, and on-court leadership will be missed greatly over the course of the next month, but with Tyrese Maxey stepping into the role as the lead scoring guard and franchise centerpiece Joel Embiid still performing at an incredible level, the Sixers should be able to stay afloat until James Harden’s return.