James Harden Ruled Out for Nets vs. Trail Blazers with Knee Injury
AP Photo/John Bazemore
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden will miss Monday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers because of a left knee hyperextension.
After an injury-plagued 2020-21 season
that saw him play in just 44 regular-season games, the three-time NBA
scoring champion has remained mostly durable during the current
campaign. He did miss some time while in the league’s COVID-19 health
and safety protocols.
Harden, 32, has struggled with his shot
throughout the season (41.7 percent FG%), which has led to a drop in
his overall production. He’s still been an important offensive driver
for the Nets, averaging 22.4 points, 9.7 assists and 8.1 rebounds
through 34 appearances.
Brooklyn has dealt with a lot of moving
parts throughout the year because of injuries and COVID-19 issues.
Kyrie Irving can lead the offense in road games, while
DeAndre’ Bembry and Cam Thomas are options for more playing time on
the wing when Harden is out.
The Nets being forced to use various
different lineups should be a benefit over the long haul. That said,
having Harden, Irving and Kevin Durant available come playoff time is
still the most important factor in their title hopes.
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