In a battle for the Eastern Conference summit, both Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers missed some players due to injuries and various other reasons. While the 76ers came out on top with impressive performances from Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving was also on fire for the Nets. The 76ers won the match 123-117 and it looked like a game where Steve Nash’s men missed their star man James Harden.
The Nets missed four of their five best players and hence the Sixers maintain their spot at the summit of the East. While the Nets have missed Kevin Durant for most of the season, Harden was leading the charge for them along with Irving. The Nets are yet to feature their whole ‘Super Team’ together as a matchday lineup and even Durant, Irving and Harden has not played together yet.
Harden was sidelined due to a strain on his left hamstring and was told that he will return in approximately ten days. That period ends Friday and according to NBA insider Malika Andrews, Nash is trying to be more mature about the injury and considering the playoffs they are reluctant to rush him back to the court. So Harden may miss a couple of matches more than what was expected.
“He stayed back from this road trip, to get work down and get into the practice facility. Get those workouts in and get the treatment,” stated Andrews. “And before this trip, I was told that he was doing well, he is progressing. This is something they’re having to be patient and careful with him because James Harden is a player who wants to be out on the floor as much as he possibly can”
Edwards had a talk with Nash on the same matter and she shared insights from her enquiry. She added, “The conversation he had with James Harden was that, ‘Look, we need to be mature about this injury. We have goals to go deep into the postseason. So, you can’t get nasty toward the end when we’re saying you might have to miss a game or two more than we thought you initially would. We want you to be healthy for the duration.”
Although this is not ideal for the Nets they will take it rather than losing Harden long term. They need him in the playoffs and hence that should be their priority. They will now face the Charlotte Hornets next followed by Miami Heat on the road.