76ers vs. Heat: How Joel Embiid's injury affects James Harden, who might be in for the Trae Young treatment

The problem for the Philadelphia 76ers is Joel Embiid has a concussion and a damaged face and is slated to miss out on a minimum of Game 1 of their second-round series vs. the top-seeded Miami Heat, which starts on Monday. 

The great news is that Embiid, who needs to sit a minimum of 5 days for the concussion, hasn’t been dismissed beyond Game 1. He might still have fun with the orbital fracture presuming he’s ultimately clear of the concussion, which is supposedly moderate, for whatever that deserves.

That could, in theory, put Embiid back by Game 2 on Wednesday, or possibly more sensible Game 3 on Friday. If it’s any longer than that, the Sixers are done. There’s no usage even talking any longer about this series. But if we continue with the expectation that Embiid will ultimately go back to this series, if just for argument’s sake, then James Harden ends up being Philly’s life raft. 

He does not need to conserve them. He simply needs to keep them afloat enough time for Embiid to have a possibility to come back and play the hero. A split in the very first 2 video games would go a long method towards that. Even simply getting one out of the very first 3 would keep the Sixers alive if Embiid could not go till Game 4. 

One huge efficiency. Harden need to still can that much. 

Most people concur that Harden is not, or a minimum of hasn’t typically appeared like, the super star he remained in Houston. He didn’t appear like that man in Brooklyn and conserve for a couple of huge video games or stretches, he hasn’t appeared like that man in Philadelphia, where he’s had a hard time to manage video games as a scorer. He’s still been an extraordinary playmaker, however that ends up being less useful without Embiid. 

Harden will still require to produce open try to find the similarity Tobias Harris and develop chances for Tyrese Maxey to assault versus a moving defense, however without Embiid, the Sixers requirement Harden to rating, and score huge, a minimum of when. One 35-40 point video game. Yes, we comprehend that’s no simple job versus an elite Miami defense, however it’s not an unreasonable ask of a man who the Sixers are most likely going to sign to a max agreement this summertime. 

Harden is going to need to go even larger on the offending end due to the fact that of Philly’s unavoidable protective drop-off without Embiid. They might play little when Bam Adebayo is off the court or offer a prolonged go to Paul Reed with backup minutes to DeAndre Jordan, but nevertheless Doc Rivers plays it, understand this: The Sixers have actually been a mess, especially defensively, without Embiid. There’s going to be a great deal of ground to comprise. 

In the routine season, Philly got smoked by 10.2 points per 100 ownerships throughout Harden’s minutes without Embiid, which would have ranked as the worst net score in the league. In the preliminary vs. Toronto, the Sixers’ were minus-6.8 in Harden’s solo minutes, though I expect there was some hope from the Harden-Maxey-Harris-Danny Green-Reed system that outscored Toronto by 15 points over 17 minutes of action. 

Free of needing to concentrate on Embiid, the Heat can now release almost all their resources onto Harden. I do not understand if they will. If they do not believe Harden can controling individually any longer, especially with specific protectors like P.J. Tucker and Jimmy Butler and, when changed, Adebayo, they may decide to more frequently play it directly and not leave any shooters to start. My guess is Miami will still dedicate a lot of doubles to Harden, positive in their capability to recuperate. 

If you didn’t view, the Heat simply taken apart Trae Young with this type of treatment. Like Young, Harden is very dependent on entering the paint. When Miami wasn’t simply straight-out trapping Trae, they were revealing him crowds with 2 and 3 assistants in his field of vision, all set to strike at his very first down motion. At the top, wings took a seat at the elbows, shutting off driving lanes. It required Young to remain outside the arc and opt for a lots of threes, which he just made at an 18 percent clip for the series. 

For the Hawks, it was similar circumstance as it now is for the Sixers. Trae igniting was their only possibility of beating a far better and much deeper group in the Heat, who understood that, and protected him appropriately. But whereas Young would’ve needed to do it 4 times to win the series, Harden, ideally, may just need to do it when prior to Embiid returns. It’s not a jealous circumstance, however that’s the offer. 

Can Harden discover a method into the paint versus Miami’s ruthless, physical, changing defense? If not, can he capture a heating unit from 3 for a video game or more? You can speak about all the other aspects of this series, however without Embiid, that’s what this boils down to for Philly. Harden needs to be the very best gamer on the flooring, and if he’s undoubtedly still a max gamer, that’s not excessive to ask. 

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