The Nets have released an injury report for their game against the Clippers tonight. It has no mention of James Harden in it, meaning he’ll play.
The blockbuster acquisition of James Harden catapulted the Brooklyn Nets from contenders in the East to Finals favorites. Their frontcourt, however, has been compromised due to the departure of Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs. Both of them were capable defenders – in fact, Allen was their defensive anchor for 3 straight seasons.
Not only will it take time, it will also take reinforcements from the buyout and trade market for the Nets to sort their defensive issues. Currently, they’re trending to be one of the worst defenses in NBA history. It’s all well and dandy to be winning games in the regular season, but it’s indisputable that you need at least a passable defense to win the championship.
The Clippers, on the other hand, are buzzing like a well-oiled machine. They’re sitting pretty at the top of the NBA standings with Utah Jazz.
James Harden declared fit for tonight’s game against the Clippers
The Nets released an injury report comprising only of 3 players – Nic Claxton, Spencer Dinwiddie and Iman Shumpert. The latter is a new signing who’s yet to join the team, Dinwiddie is out for the season and Claxton will only join the team after the midseason break.
James Harden was rested for the game against the Wizards. Though he’s perceived as a net negative on defense, the Nets were unable to contain the Wizards’ wings even in his absence. The likes of Joe Harris and Jeff Green were put to toast when KD and Kyrie sat in the second half.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 2, 2021
The Clippers have a mean defensive lineup with Beverley and Nic Batum. But while Batum is day-to-day with a groin struggle, Beverley has been ruled out of the clash with a knee issue. This means the Nets will have at least one of their 3 stars guarded by an average defender.
But they’ll really have to dial up the intensity on the boards and cut down on turnovers to win more games. Both issues are hemorrhaging them tons of points.