The Philadelphia 76ers have ruled James Harden out for Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat with a hamstring injury. This is likely a case of load management on the second game of a back-to-back set, as Harden hasn’t popped up on the injury report for the previous four games.
76ers’ James Harden (hamstring) will not play tonight against the Miami Heat.— Brett Siegel (@BrettSiegelNBA) March 5, 2022
Harden has absolutely torched opponents since joining the 76ers, helping the team win four straight games. The shooting guard is playing like his MVP self, which fans didn’t see during his Nets stint. With Harden out, the 76ers likely remain underdogs against a strong Heat team.
Look for Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris to pick up the slack with Harden out. Harris looks to benefit the most from some extra shots, as he’s been somewhat missing from the offense since Harden’s arrival. This absence shouldn’t be a cause for concern, as stated above, but the designation tactics are a little suspect given Harden didn’t show up on the report for the past four games.
The Heat should gain some points on the line, with the original number being Miami -1.5. The top team in the East has some injury concerns, but if the rotation outside Kyle Lowry does play Miami is still the pick here.