James Harden Claps Back At His Defensive Critics

James Harden, Paul George

Getty James Harden reacts to a hard foul by Paul George.

The defense has been the Achilles heel for the Brooklyn Nets all season. However, they have shown they can play an elite brand of defense when it matters. While the Nets’ defensive effort against the Indiana Pacers was impressive, the next step is to show a level of consistency on that side of the ball. Nets’ star James Harden understands that defense will have to be a total team effort. Starting with himself.

James Harden Holds Nets Defense Accountable

“I don’t really like talking about offense because we can score with the best of them,” Harden told reporters over Zoom via SNY. “Defensively we gotta have like some form of consistency and some kind of togetherness. Like I said we’ve shown great signs of it and then we just show signs where we are not on the same page as individuals out there.”

The Nets got back on track and snapped a three-game losing streak when they defeated Indiana on Wednesday. The Nets Defeated the sixth place Pacers 104-94. Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 35 points as Brooklyn moved up to the top three spots within the Eastern Conference. The Nets have allowed 100 or more points to pretty much every opponent they have faced this season so holding the Pacers to just 94 points in the contest was a step in the right direction. The Nets rank just 27th in defensive rating according to Lineups. Unlike many of Brooklyn’s wins, the defense won this game for them. The Pacers had just 30 points in the first half.

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“That’s my job I gotta do a better job of communicating, maybe watching more film, communicating more on where guys should be, just using my voice a little bit more so guys can be in their spots,” Harden continued. “Defense is not just a one-man thing, you gotta be five guys locked in on the same page and making sure you accomplish, wanna accomplish the same thing and know your personnel. As a leader, one of the leaders of this team I gotta do a better job of communicating and I will be.”

DeAndre Jordan Had a Big Night

Another bright spot in the Nets’ win was their starting center DeAndre Jordan who finished the night with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. As impressive as DJ’s stat line was, what is most impressive about his performance was his defense on Pacers star center Myles Turner. Turner finished the night with just 3 points, and one made field goal. Steve Nash called out his team’s competitive spirit after Tuesday’s loss to the Detroit Pistons and DJ knew that it was on him and his teammates to respond.

“We’re competitors man, everybody on this team,” Jordan told reporters following the win via SNY. “All the coaches, a lot of those guys have played in this league before and on our team are veteran guys who ultimately wanna reach the pinnacle of this game of basketball. Emotions fly it was nothing negative, we want to win.”

The Nets’ next game is on NBA Saturday Primetime where Kevin Durant will make his return from COVID protocols and travel with the Nets to The Bay to face his former team the Golden State Warriors. Steph Curry and company will be looking for redemption as the Nets blew them out on opening night at Barclays Center.

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