James Harden to Possibility Miss Significant Time with Concussion Injury: A Fan’s Take
When James Harden is able to return for the Oklahoma City Thunder is anyone’s guess. After the cheap shot elbow from Metta World Peace, Harden suffered a concussion and will be out until doctors give him permission to return.
There is a pretty good chance that Harden will not be back for the final two games of the season. While the Thunder do not want to head into the postseason on a losing streak, they also don’t want to hurt their postseason possibilities by rushing back Harden too soon. Harden is the best sixth man in the NBA, there is no one even close, and he is a necessity if Oklahoma City wants to make it to the NBA Finals.
Before the game with the Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City still had an outside chance to catch the San Antonio Spurs and move into first in the Western Conference. However, after the loss, they don’t have a chance anymore. They also can’t drop anymore because the Lakers can’t catch them. With the Thunder locked into the second spot, there is no reason to risk anything on what are basically throwaway games.
The Thunder finish the season with back-to-back games with the Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets. After that, they will either play the Dallas Mavericks or Denver Nuggets. From the look of it, they will get Dallas, the same team that knocked the Thunder out of the playoffs in 2011.
After that, Oklahoma City will likely play the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies series.
As for Harden, he has a concussion and brain injuries are nothing to scoff at. With so many long term problems arising from concussions in the past, the NBA created new rules that will not allow a player to return until he is symptom free. He can’t have dizziness or headaches of any kind.
With the power of the elbow smash to the head of Harden, there is no telling when he can come back. I would be happy if he comes back in time for the playoffs. If it means his health, I will be happy if he is back by the second round. Nothing is more important than James Harden’s health.
I also feel that Metta World Peace should in no way come back before Harden. That was a cheap shot and he needs to be punished significantly.
Author Shawn S. Lealos has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma (2000) and is an avid sports fan that has lived in Oklahoma for over 40 years. He used to religiously follow the Dallas Mavericks until Oklahoma City found a team to call their own.
Other articles by Shawn S. Lealos:
- Meta World Peace Cheap Shot Brings Back Memories of Ron Artest: A Fan’s Take
- Oklahoma City Thunder Vs. Los Angeles Lakers: 04.22.12: A Fan’s Preview
- Billy Hunter and NBPA Demanding that Derek Fisher Resign: A Fan’s Take
- Oklahoma CIty Thunder Vs. Sacramento Kings: 04.20.12: A Fan’s Preview
- James Harden Proves His Worth as Top Sixth Man in NBA: A Fan’s Take