Brooklyn Nets Star Makes Concerning Statement Following Loss to Heat

Joe Harris, James Harden and Kevin Durant

Getty Brooklyn's James Harden, Joe Harris and Kevin Durant talk during a stop in play in the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference second round at Barclays Center on June 19, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

After the Brooklyn Nets started the season off with two road games, the team had a great opportunity to gain some ground with a three-game homestand. The team went 1-2 in that stretch of games and now has an overall record of 2-3. Although it is just five games into the season it is easy to see that something is wrong with the Nets.

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James Harden Sounds off on His Early Struggles

Even with the return of their All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in doubt, the Nets came into the season as a title favorite. But that prediction was contingent on their All-Star guard James Harden returning to his old form and so far, he has not. Through five games “The Beard” is averaging 16.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game. He is also shooting just 35.9% from the field. The Nets sold the farm to bring Harden to Brooklyn under the impression that he was going to be the superstar that fans have become accustomed to. But Harden says at this moment he is not at that level.

“Just getting more confident, being aggressive. And it’s getting better every single game,” Harden said of his recent play per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “As much as I want to get back to just, you know, [scoring] 30’s and 40 points, I can’t do that [right now]. As much as I want to, obviously, I would love to.”

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James Harden Spent Much of the Summer Rehabbing

Harden dealt with a hamstring injury for much of the 2020 season. He originally suffered the injury in April and it held him out for most of the remainder of the regular season. He suffered another hamstring injury in the first game of the Nets’ second-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks and wasn’t expected to return in the series. But an ankle injury to Kyrie drove Harden to return to the court earlier than suggested.

He served mainly as a decoy for Kevin Durant but did suit up for Games 5-7 of the series on that injured hamstring. Harden says he has not been able to have much of a ramp-up process in a shortened offseason but remains confident in his ability to return to peak form.

“I had no opportunities to play pickup or nothing this summer,” Harden said.

“Everything was rehab for three months, from a Grade 2 injury that happened three times in one season. So, this is my fifth game of trying to just play with competition against somebody else. And as much as I want to rush the process and be back to hooping and killing, [have to] take your time.”

Harden Says He Is Slowly Returning to Form

Harden had pretty much been Mr. Reliable in terms of availability before last season. Now a nagging hamstring injury from last season has hampered his abilities this season. But the 2018 Most Valuable Player says he is getting there. Slowly but surely.

“But I’m finally slowly getting back to it,” Harden continued. “It just takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But it’s gonna happen. But you got to just continue to keep fighting, and I will.”

The Nets’ title hopes weigh heavily on Harden being an elite player. Brooklyn is hoping that he can reach that point sooner rather than later.

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