The Brooklyn Nets kept it rolling on Saturday night as they defeated the Detroit Pistons 100-95. They have come out strong after the All-Star break winning their first two games.
During the Nets’ last game against the Boston Celtics, Kyrie Irving was the star of the show. Saturday against the Pistons it was James Harden’s turn. ‘The Beard’ registered his ninth triple-double with the Nets as he finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. 12 of Harden’s 24 points came in the fourth quarter.
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James Harden Wants To Be Mentioned With the Greats
Harden’s star has shined brightly since coming to Brooklyn. While he has had to make adjustments to his style of play, it has not stopped him from breaking milestones. On Saturday, Harden moved into 34th place on the NBA’s All-Time Scoring List as he passed Hall of Famer Larry Bird. The 2018 Most Valuable Player realizes that is no easy accomplishment.
“Obviously we know how great Larry was and the things he did in Boston, a legend. I think I just play the game the right way and hopefully, good things happen for me,” Harden said following Saturday’s win via SNY.
Harden has led the league in scoring each of the last three seasons. When he finally arrived in Brooklyn, many felt like Harden would have to sacrifice individual accomplishments because he was joining two ball-dominant players in Kevin Durant and Kyrie. Thus far the NBA’s assist leader hasn’t had to sacrifice anything and is flourishing in his new role.
While Harden is regarded as one of the best pure scorers of all time and is having yet another MVP-caliber season, he has a way to go before he can be mentioned with the likes of ‘Larry Legend’ as Bird is a three-time champion and two-time Finals MVP.
“Passing one of the greatest to play basketball it’s a great honor and I just gotta continue to go because at the end of the day I want my name to be mentioned with those greats,” Harden said.
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A Championship Could Change Everything for Harden
Harden knows that he hasn’t reached the legendary status of Bird yet, but winning a championship this year could change all of that.
That is why Harden came to Brooklyn, because he felt that playing with KD and Kyrie ultimately would give him the best chance to win his first ring. Harden statistically has had a Hall of Fame career but has notoriously flamed out in the playoffs. Winning a title this year could change the narrative on where Harden ranks amongst the greatest players of all time.
The Nets are currently 26-13 and sit at second place in the Eastern Conference. They are just a half-game back of the Philadelphia 76ers for the top spot in the conference.
The bone bruise to Sixers’ star Joel Embiid that will sideline him for at least two weeks could have a major impact on where the Nets rank in the standings at the end of the season.