The Beard has clocked in. But it will be a while before Sixers fans can see James Harden get to work in his new uniform.

Harden practiced with the Sixers on Monday for the first time since the blockbuster trade last week. He knocked down some threes with Tyrese Maxey and we got a look at him in Sixers gear but learned that he won’t play in a game until after the All-Star break as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

So when will fans see Harden in a Sixers uniform? Their first two games out of the break are on the road (Feb. 25 at Minnesota and at New York on Feb. 27) before they return to the Wells Fargo Center on March 2. We’ll hear from the newest Sixer and the guy with the “perfect” Philly beard when Harden is introduced by the team during a news conference, which will be streamed live at noon today.

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

Tell us where you think the Sixers, with Harden, will finish in the East and why:

Off the Dribble

The Sixers will soon boast two of the most dominant scorers in the NBA when Harden teams up with Joel Embiid. While he waits for his new running mate, Embiid continues to put up monster games, including the Sixers’ first 40-point triple-double since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968, in leading his shorthanded team to two wins since the trade. So who needs Harden, right? Marcus Hayes is just kidding, Mr. Beard. You will make for one of the NBA’s most potent tandems and make each other better.

Next: The Sixers, without Harden, host the Boston Celtics at 7:30 tonight on TNT.

On the Fly

With the Flyers floundering and now all but eliminated from playoff contention, the next 35 games would seem the perfect opportunity to get an extended look at some of the organization’s young players.

One problem: Somebody needs to convince Chuck Fletcher of that. Look no further than this past weekend, when the team elected to play veterans Kevin Connauton and Nick Seeler over top prospect Cam York.

Morgan Frost, 22, is another talented youngster who has inexplicably not been getting consistent opportunities with the big club. Fletcher has reiterated that there is no rush regarding York and Frost, but with every loss, it is getting harder and harder to defend not giving each a prominent role.

The Flyers aren’t going anywhere, so the team might as well play the kids and let them get some valuable experience. If not, what’s really the point?

Next: The Flyers play at rival Pittsburgh at 7 tonight (NBCSP+).

Do you have a Flyers-related question you want answered? @ReinerOlivia and @giana_jade are doing a mailbag and would love to hear from you! Please email all questions to

Extra Innings

Josh Ockimey likely would have benefited from a fresh start anywhere, but ending up on the team he grew up watching felt particularly serendipitous. He was raised about 10 minutes away from Citizens Bank Park, in the Elmwood neighborhood of southwest Philadelphia. His high school, Neumann Goretti, was so close to the ballpark that the track team often ran there and back as a workout. So it proved to be a dream come true when Ockimey, who spent the last seven seasons in the Red Sox organization, announced to the world on Monday that he had signed with his hometown Phillies. “Everything happens for a reason, and this time, my journey brought me back home,” he said.

Fleet Street

CBS is giving its afternoon television lineup a decidedly different look, starting today. Instead of game shows or soap operas, the network is showcasing UEFA men’s Champions League games. This afternoon’s matchup: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid.

Worth a look

  • “Everything was taken away”: North Philadelphia’s Paul Kroll was once a top amateur boxing prospect before a street confrontation almost ruined his career in the ring.

  • Popping and locking at the Winter Olympics: Figure skating is embracing popular dance culture, and using music from artists including Rihanna, Britney Spears, and Black Eyed Peas.

  • “You’re not going to hear yourself think”: Tonight is a big game for No. 10 Villanova, but it’s a huge game for No. 8 Providence.

What you’re saying

We asked you Monday what it’s going to take for the Eagles to get back to the Super Bowl.

  • Defense, defense, defense. Another above average wide receiver. Jalen Hurts markedly improving his accuracy. — Daniel W.

  • The short answer is that it will take two things: (1) Russell Wilson, and (2) good drafts starting this year. — John W.

And finally ...

Villanova NCAA Tournament wins plus 0.5 vs. Rams’ first-half touchdowns is still in play among the Super Bowl prop bets. Unless they are tabbed for the play-in round, the Wildcats will need to get to the Sweet 16 to clinch this bet as the Rams scored two TDs in the first half. — Ed Barkowitz

We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Gina Mizell, Giana Han, Marcus Hayes, Mike Jensen, Matt Breen, Ellen Dunkel, Alex Coffey, Rodrigo Torrejón, Jonathan Tannenwald, and Ed Barkowitz.