James Harden has only played with the Brooklyn Nets in 32 games this season, and yet the impact he has on the roster speaks for itself. Averaging 26.4 points, 11.4 assists and 8.9 rebounds a game, the 11-year veteran is possibly the most integral member of this year’s Nets squad.
As if virtually carrying his team to the second seed in the Eastern Conference was not enough, Harden has cemented his name in the franchise’s record book as well.
In the 112-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Harden put up a 38-point triple-double, with 13 assists and 11 rebounds. In doing so, he tied Nets great Jason Kidd, for most triple-doubles in a single season.
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TJ Kidd Shows Respect for James Harden
After Harden tied Kidd’s record, his son TJ showed him the ultimate sign of respect.
— TJ Kidd (@TJKidd__) March 30, 2021
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James Harden’s Performances Cannot Be Taken for Granted
Kidd set the triple-double record in 2006-07 and matched it again the following season, taking 80 games and 50 games, respectively. Though the game has changed, and players acquire the achievements at a much higher rate, breaking records is still impressive. Let Steve Nash tell it, even for “The Beard”, having such exemplary performances is still awe-inspiring.
“Different but both dominate and impressive for James in such a short time to track up so many triple-doubles,” Nash said post-game of Harden’s achievement via ESPN .
“You can’t take it for granted, but you tend to a little bit because he’s able to pull these [triple-doubles] out of a hat every single night.”
This is not the first time Harden has broken a record of Kidd’s, as earlier this season he became the first Net since to register 15-plus points, 10-plus assists, and five-plus rebounds in a half. And the week before that, he broke the record for most 20-point triple-doubles in a season in franchise history.
James Harden Has Improved as a Passer
Harden has always been an above-average passer but has put on possibly the best season of his career as it pertains to distributing the ball. The Beard leads the NBA in assists at 11.4 per game.
Harden’s elite passing display this year may have to be partially attributed to Kyrie Irving’s willingness to take a backseat to the 2018 MVP. Earlier this year Kyrie detailed a conversation that the two Nets guards had where he relinquished the point guard duties to Harden and handed him the reigns to control the offense.
“I just looked at him, and I said, ‘You’re the point guard, and I’m going to play shooting guard.’ That was as simple as that,” Irving said to reporters in February via ESPN.
“He’s been taking control of the responsibilities and doing an incredible job,” Irving said.
“It just makes my job easier to just go out and play free and just make plays.”
Sharing the ball between the multitude of talent on the Nets’ roster was once a big question mark for Brooklyn. Harden has made the distribution of the rock look effortless, and the Nets are currently the favorites to win the title because of it.