76ers vs Heat: How Joel Embiid’s injury affects James Harden, who may be on Trae Young treatment

bad news for Philadelphia 76ers he is Joel Embiid He has a concussion and a broken face and is set to miss at least the first match of the second round series against the top seed Miami Heatwhich starts on Monday.

The good news is that Embiid, who must sit out for at least five days due to a concussion, was not ruled out after the first game. Whatever it is worth.

That could, in theory, bring back the Embiid game from Game Two on Wednesday, or maybe Game Three on Friday more realistically. If it’s any longer than that, the Sixers are over. There is no point in talking about this series anymore. But if we keep expecting Embiid to eventually return to this series, if only for the sake of argument, then James Harden Become a Philly lifeboat.

He doesn’t have to save them. All he has to do is keep her afloat long enough for Embiid to have a chance to come back and play the hero. Splitting in the first two games will go a long way toward that. Even just getting one of the top three would keep The Sixers alive if Embiid couldn’t go until Game 4.

One great performance. Harden should still be able to that much.

Most of us would agree that Harden is not, or at least not often looked like, the star he was in Houston. He didn’t look like that guy in Brooklyn and saved a few big games or stretches, and he didn’t look like that guy in Philadelphia, where he struggled to dominate games as a scorer. It’s still a great playmaker, but this becomes less useful without Embiid.

Harden will still need to create open skins for the likes Tobias Harris and create opportunities Therese Maxi To attack a mutant defense, but without the Embiid, the Sixers need Harden to score, and hit big goals, at least once. One game 35-40 points. Yes, we understand that this isn’t an easy task against Miami’s defense elite, but it’s not an unreasonable request from a man the Sixers will likely sign to a maximum contract this summer.

Harden will have to go further on the offensive end due to the inevitable Philly defensive fall without Embiid. They can play on a small scale when Pam Adebayo off the field or give a long distance to Paul Reed With spare minutes for Deandre Jordan, but even though Doc Rivers plays it, know this: The Sixers would have been a mess, especially defensively, without the Embiid. There will be plenty of ground to make up for.

In the regular season, Philly smoked 10.2 points per 100 possessions during Harden minutes without Embiid, which would have rated the worst net rating in the league. In the first round against Toronto, the Sixers were 6.8 in Harden’s solo minutes, although I suppose there was some hope from the Harden-Maxey-Harris-Danny Green-Reed unit who edged out Toronto by 15 points in 17 minutes of work.

Free from having to focus on Embiid, Heat can now deploy nearly all of its resources to Harden. I don’t know if they will. If they don’t think the Harden is able to dominate one-on-one anymore, especially with solo defenders like PJ Tucker And Jimmy Butler And when switching to the Adebayo, they may choose to run it straight and not let any shooters run off. I think Miami will continue to dedicate a lot of pairs to Harden, confident she can recover.

If you haven’t watched, the heat has just disintegrated Tra Young With this type of treatment. Like Young, Harden relies heavily on paint. When Miami wasn’t just surrounding Trae, they would show him a crowd with two and three lieutenants in his line of sight, ready to pounce on his first downward move. At the top, the wings sat at the elbows, closing the driveways. It forced Young to stay out of the arc and stabilize for a ton of 3 seconds, which only made him 18 percent for the series.

to me hawksIt was the same situation as now for the Sixers. Trae’s ignition was their only chance to beat a much better and deeper team in The Heat, who knew it, and defended it accordingly. But while Young had to do it four times to win the series, we hope that Harden will only do it once before Embiid returns. It’s not an envious situation, but that’s the deal.

Can Harden find a way to beat Miami’s relentless, physical, and transformative defense? If not, can he pick up a heater of 3 for a match or two? You can talk about all the other items in the series, but without Embiid, that’s what it’s all about for Philly. Harden should be the best player on the planet and if he’s still really a strong player then there’s no need to claim that much.