It took less than a minute of game action for the complexion of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets to drastically change. Just 43 seconds into the contest, Nets’ star James Harden went up for a layup, came down awkwardly, and immediately grabbed for his right hamstring. It is the same hamstring that caused him to miss more than a month of playing time in the regular season. Nets’ head coach Steve Nash immediately called for a timeout and Harden headed straight for the locker room and did not return. ‘The Beard’ left the Barclays Center during Game 1 to go get further imaging of his injured hamstring. His status for Game 2 is still unclear.
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
LeBron James Reacts to James Harden’s Injury
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James knows all about how injuries can impact the outcome of a team’s season. James suffered an ankle injury this season that caused him to miss 20 games, the longest layoff of his 18-year NBA career. It did not make matters any better when Lakers’ star Anthony Davis suffered a groin injury in Game 5 of their series with the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers would get blown out in Games 5 and 6 and lose their first-round matchup with the Suns, making it the first time in James’ career that he would be eliminated in the first round.
After watching Harden suffer an injury in one of the most anticipated matchups of this year’s playoffs, James sent his good wishes to the Nets’ star:
Follow the Heavy on Nets Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Brooklyn!
Nets Are ‘Heartbroken’ Over Harden’s Injury
Despite taking a 1-0 series lead over the Bucks with a 115-107 victory, the Nets are more concerned about the health of their All-Star point guard. Harden is in a prime position to capture his first NBA title this year, and to see him go down with an injury at this point of the playoffs is gut-wrenching to the team.
“I’m heartbroken for him. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if he’s playing the next game if he’s out. I have no idea. But I’m heartbroken for him that he had to miss tonight,” Nash said per ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “You know we got a lot thrown at us this year, so we were, in a sense, well trained for this event, but you never want to see that for someone like James, who is such an important player and such an incredible player and cares so much.”
Nets’ star Kevin Durant suffered a hamstring injury of his own this season that held him out for 23 games. Durant is familiar with the feeling of wanting to play and not being able to and hopes that Harden can get back healthy as soon as possible.
“I didn’t realize what had happened until he had started walking off the court, but we supposed to run [a] play and he wasn’t in his spot, and I looked at him, he was grimacing,” said Durant per ESPN. “It just sucks. It sucks. It sucks because I want him to be out there. I know how much he cares. I know how much he wants to be in this moment. It sucks. Wishing him a speedy recovery. Keep him involved as much as possible. It’s just a bad break.”
Harden’s status for Game 2 is still up in the air, but with an impressive Game 1 victory, the Nets have proven that they are more than capable of winning without him.