Will James Harden’s shoulder injury cause him to miss time for the Clippers?

James Harden Clippers pic
James Harden Clippers pic

At this point in the 2023-24 regular season, the Clippers have 18 games left. On Tuesday night, LA lost 118-100 at home to the Timberwolves. The team is 41-23 this season, (3.5) games out of first place in the West. In that matchup vs. Minnesota, all-star forward Kawhi Leonard had to leave the game due to thoracic spasms. 

Additionally, starting PG James Harden has been dealing with back/shoulder injuries for the last few games. Per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints, the veteran guard was getting those injuries tended to after the loss on Tuesday night. There is no definite answer if Harden will need to take a few games off for the Clippers. If they want to ensure he’ll be 100 percent healthy for the playoffs, giving him a short break wouldn’t be the worst.

James Harden was getting his injuries tended to after a loss to the Timberwolves on Tuesday

In 2023-24, James Harden is committed to winning with the Clippers. Since being traded early in the season, Harden has not missed a game since his debut for LA. His first game for the Clippers was on 11/6 vs. the Knicks. The 10-time all-star has played in 59 straight games. After last night’s game, there is the belief that Harden could miss a few games. Lingering shoulder/back injuries have given him trouble recently. Could the Clippers survive Harden missing a handful of games if it came to that?

Through 59 games with the Clippers, Harden is averaging (17.4) points, (5.1) rebounds, (8.3) assists, and (1.1) steals. The 34-year-old PG continues to adapt to each team he lands on. His (11.6) field-goal attempts per game are the lowest of his career since the 2011-12 season. Harden has bought into LA’s team success in 2023-24. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. His (17.4) points per game are the third-most on the team this season;

In their next game, the Clippers will be on the road to face the Bulls on Thursday. LA has a second game of a back-to-back on Friday on the road vs. New Orleans. If Harden’s injuries continue to linger, he could likely miss one of those two games. The Clippers want to play it safe with their starting PG at this point in the season. They want a fully healthy roster once the playoffs begin next month. We’ll have to wait and see if Harden pops up on the injury report for Thursday vs. Chicago.

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