There was another James Harden injury, as he has officially been ruled out of game 2 after aggravating his hamstring against the Bucks. The official title of his injury from the team is that he has “right hamstring tightness.” Steve Nash did not want to comment much on Harden’s injury, saying, “At this point, we just focus on the next game and understand he won’t be with us for the next game.”
James Harden Injury Update
The good news for the Nets is that there was no sign of a tear or a strain in his MRI, so there is certainly a possible return for Harden if the Nets can push through the Milwaukee Bucks without his services.
The big three finally seemed to have a rhythm in the series against the Celtics, combining for 104 points in game five of the series. Individually, James Harden averaged 23.2 points, 8.8 assists, and 6.2 rebounds. His impact went beyond the stat sheet, as he hustled on defense and led the second unit as the primary playmaker.
Huge Moment for Kyrie Irving and KD
This is a huge moment for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to overturn the narratives that have followed them for their careers. Durant has to prove that he can win without a super team, and defeating the Bucks as the leader of the team would quiet some of those comments.
Kyrie Irving has to prove that he is a team player, and he can demonstrate that by adapting to new players such as Mike James getting significant minutes and supporting the new offense that Steve Nash implements due to the absence of James Harden.
In game one, Durant scored 29 points on twelve of twenty-five shooting and grabbed ten boards. Kyrie Irving added 25 points on eleven of twenty-six shooting with eight assists. But the key to the success of the Nets on Saturday was the added scoring from Joe Harris (19 points) Blake Griffin (18 points), and Mike James (12 points).
If the Nets can tear apart the league’s best defense like they did in game one, this series should only last six games. But for that to happen, Brooklyn needs to defend Giannis Antetokounmpo better. Giannis scored 34 points on an efficient 16 of 24 from the field, which is embarrassing for the Nets’ defense. If Brooklyn can hold Giannis to around 50% shooting, they should be able to take these games with or without James Harden.
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