Brooklyn Nets point guard James Harden reflects on poor shooting and lack of offense as his team continues to struggle against contending teams without Kyrie Irving
Phoenix Suns recorded a huge win against the mighty Brooklyn Nets on a back-to-back night. The well-rested Nets were no match for Devin Booker and co. Phoenix Suns took the lead within 2 minutes of the first quarter and did not let Brooklyn come within 5 throughout the game.
The lead stretched to 21 in the second half but the Nets’ formidable lineup kept the team alive until the final few minutes. Brooklyn made a quick run in the fourth however, it wasn’t enough to beat the Suns.
James Harden’s poor offense was a big factor in tonight’s loss and the 5 others that the Nets have faced so far. The 3x scoring champion who averaged 36 points per game just 4 years ago is barely crossing the 20-point mark this season.
James Harden is still trying to figure out his role in Kyrie Irving’s absence
While rule changes have had an effect on Harden’s scoring volume, it is not the sole reason behind the former MVP’s inefficiency. He scored 12 points on 26.7 % shooting and the officiating was not in his favor either. In addition, he had 14 assists and 13 rebounds along with 7 turnovers.
After the tough loss to Phoenix Suns, he was asked about the early season struggles and if Kyrie’s absence is a possible reason behind it.
“Honestly I’m trying to figure that out right now. I’m trying to figure it out. I’m trying to figure out when to score and when to be a playmaker when to run the offense and when to do a little bit of everything. It’s been a little difficult but I’m just trying to figure it out.”
James Harden on finding the balance between scoring and playmaking for his teammates:
“Honestly, I’m trying to figure all that out right now.” pic.twitter.com/ZkHm77KrMH
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) November 28, 2021
He played without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last season and led the Nets to the #1 seed as well. However, he swiftly transitioned to the point guard role after the Big 3 started playing together in the second half of the 2020-21 season. Clearly, he is unable to get back to the ball-dominant role.
He is not the only player suffering from the poor offense. Damian Lillard and Trae Young are starting to look like their old self but that may not be the case the Beard. He drastically changed his game to fit with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. It will take him a few more games to get back to volume scoring.
"It was a tough night for him. Some turnover issues. Didn't get a lot of good looks. But that's a part of our growth too is trying to find ways for him to get effective," says Steve Nash about James Harden. Also says that it's about devising a plan when JH "can't get to the rim."
— Matt Brooks (@MattBrooksNBA) November 28, 2021
Despite the disgraceful behavior by Nets fans, Steve Nash and Kevin Durant have been very supportive. They are positive that James Harden will find his rhythm soon and get back to the MVP caliber player we know him to be. If he doesn’t though, Brooklyn’s championship hopes will be in jeopardy especially after Irving’s reluctance to get vaccinated.