Brooklyn Nets’ James Harden says he is ‘slowly’ regaining kind, however nonetheless restricted

NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden mentioned he’s regaining his confidence however that his offensive recreation is restricted proper now as he makes his approach again from an offseason spent rehabbing his hamstring harm.

Harden’s sluggish begin to the season continued Wednesday when he completed with 14 factors, seven rebounds and 7 assists in Brooklyn’s 106-93 loss to the Miami Warmth at Barclays Heart. The 2017-18 MVP has scored 15 or fewer factors in three straight video games for the primary time because the 2011-12 season, in accordance with ESPN Stats and Data analysis.

“Simply getting extra assured, being aggressive,” Harden mentioned after capturing 4-for-12 on Wednesday. “And it is getting higher each single recreation. As a lot as I need to get again to simply, you recognize, [scoring] 30’s and 40 factors, I can not try this [right now]. As a lot as I need to, clearly I might like to.”

Harden’s hamstring harm within the second half of final season severely restricted him within the playoffs. Making his approach again fastidiously, Harden is averaging 16.6 factors per recreation this season, down from the 24.6 factors per recreation he averaged final season.

“I had no alternatives to play pickup or nothing this summer season,” Harden mentioned. “All the pieces was rehab for 3 months, from a Grade 2 harm that occurred 3 times in a single season. So that is my fifth recreation of attempting to simply play with competitors in opposition to any person else. And as a lot as I need to rush the method and be again to hooping and killing, [have to] take your time.”

Like Harden, the Nets are off to a sluggish begin with out Kyrie Irving. They fell to 2-3 after being hammered on the offensive glass. Miami grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and outscored the smaller Nets 31-4 in second-chance factors.

Steve Nash has preached persistence as he experiments with lineups and rotations because the Nets adapt with out Irving. Irving, Brooklyn’s start line guard, shouldn’t be with the crew till he complies with New York Metropolis’s vaccine mandate and will get not less than one vaccination shot to have the ability to take part in dwelling video games in New York. The Nets determined to not have Irving be a part-time participant and simply play in street video games outdoors of New York Metropolis. Brooklyn’s three losses have come by a mean of 17.3 factors. Kevin Durant, who had 25 factors and 11 rebounds in Wednesday’s loss, was requested what the Nets are lacking offensively. “I do know what you need me to say. … Yeah, we do miss Kyrie,” mentioned Durant, including that he likes the hassle and protection he’s seeing from the Nets. “We do. He is part of our crew.

“However for probably the most half, we have been producing nice pictures, we have been entering into the paint. It is only a matter of us knocking them down. I feel they will come.”

Harden says that is unfamiliar territory for him getting back from a major harm and having to be affected person along with his offense.

“My profession, I have been blessed,” Harden mentioned. “Simply not having surgical procedures or whatnot. So simply this complete course of final yr was similar to irritating and draining. … It was draining for me to know that I could not be myself and be on the market on the ground and be the participant than I’m [at the end of last season].

“However I am lastly slowly getting again to it. It simply takes quite a lot of exhausting work and dedication. But it surely’s gonna occur. However you bought to simply proceed to maintain combating, and I’ll.”

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