The #1 seeded Brooklyn Nets lose a close 111-107 game to the #2 seeded Chicago Bulls, James Harden takes blame for the same
The top team in Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets, faced the second-placed team in their conference the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. Both teams were coming off victorious from their last games and were looking to carry that form.
But the Nets who were hosting the Bulls on a back-to-back game just after playing a close game with the Minnesota Timberwolves the other night came up short. Every in-form Nets player from that game looked a bit rusty in this much-anticipated battle of top-2 in the East.
Against Timberwolves, Kevin Durant, Patty Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Bembry all shot over 50% from the field, and James Harden also shot a decent 4/11, scoring 20 points. All of the starters posted similar numbers against the Bulls last night except for Harden.
James Harden takes the blame for the Nets loss
The game seemed like a one-sided affair. There were just 5-lead changes and 1 tie. The Nets led the majority of the match till the 3rd quarter. They started the fourth with a 3-point lead. Due to some poor shots, they gave away the lead and never came back.
Whenever KD was getting a breather, Harden tried taking over the game but failed miserably. He missed 5 out of 6 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter alone, missing both his crucial 3-point attempts. Nets lost the game 107-111 and now have the same number of wins (16) as the Bulls.
After the game, Harden confessed that he should have killed the game when he had the chance, according to Chris Milholen NBA writer & reporter of Nets Daily.
James Harden: “Blame [this loss] on me.”
— Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) December 5, 2021
Harden had 14 points in the game where he attempted 21 shots. Although he is averaging over 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists, the 2018 MVP has been struggling to score points consistently this season. Whichever games he’s getting fewer calls from the refs he is not scoring like a 3-time scoring champ.
Since coming to Brooklyn his attempts from the charity stripe are down 5 a game. This might be just bringing a 3-4 point differential in his points per game. However, it has made a huge difference in his performance. “The Beard” clearly needs those FTs to get going.
The rule changes might or might not suit the 9-time All-Star and some other players but they have made the game much more free-flowing, so they might be here to stay.
As the Nets are the top seed in the East, Harden has enough time to get his touch back some other way.