Harden had another difficult night during Wednesday's 106-93 loss to the Heat at Barclays Center. Harden finished with 14 points, on 4 of 12 shooting and 3 of 8 from three. He also had seven assists and seven boards. In a performance that was otherwise stale, his second quarter play when he scored 11 points gave some life to the proceedings. Steve Nash believes he is seeing positive signs.
James seems to be regaining his rhythm. It's not an easy task, as I keep repeating. After Wednesday's loss, Nash said that it would take him time and that he needs to be patient. He had many incredible stretches to continue on."
Harden's mobility issues in the Nets' first five matches (2-3) are not unknown. This is due to his Grade 2 Hamstring strain injury, which occurred in the second half 2020-21 regular season. It severely limited his participation in the second round playoff series against Bucks. This season, Harden is a smaller player and averages 16.6 points per games -- a significant drop in his scoring output last season (24.6).
Harden is experiencing a drop in charity strikes (3.0), although he doesn’t see the NBA’s changes to officiating as a major reason. Harden ties his early season struggles to the offseason-long rehab of his hamstrings that kept him from practicing and ramping up for competition.
"[I] am becoming more confident and being more aggressive, and it's getting better each game. As much as it would be great to score 30-40 points again, I cannot. Harden stated that he would love to do it, as much as he does. "I didn't have any opportunities to play pickup or anything this summer. All I had to do was three months of rehab from a Grade 2 Injury that occurred three times in one season.
"So, this is my fifth or sixth game of playing with competition and against someone else. As much as I would like to hurry the process and get back to killing and hooping, please take your time. This will make me stronger at season's end. This is why I embrace moments like these and other similar situations. It's all part of my daily grind.
Harden is still learning how to regain confidence after an injury. He missed 28 games (31 including playoffs) last season. Harden was one of the NBA's most resilient superstars during his 13-year NBA tenure. He takes great pride in this aspect of his game. The bottom line is that the 6'5" guard hasn’t played regularly since March 31. He injured his hamstring in a game against the Rockets.
Harden said, "My career, I've had been blessed, but not having surgeries or whatnot," (podium). "So, just this, the entire process last year was just as frustrating and draining. Hooping is my favorite pastime. Hooping would be my passion even if it weren't for the money. It was a difficult year.
It was exhausting to realize that I couldn’t be me and play on the floor as the player I wanted. It's slowly but surely I am getting back to it. It takes hard work and dedication. It's going to happen. You just have to keep fighting for it, and I will.
He will need to be able to lead the Nets to success.Date Of Update: 28 October 2021, 15:17