James Harden said he is enjoying his newfound role alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The game, according to the Beard, is now more fun.
The former Rockets guard was traded for by the Nets nearly 2 weeks ago. Harden was in his Rockets form in his first two games with the Nets. He became the first player in NBA history to record a 30-point, 10-assist double-double in each of his first two games with a new team. He debuted with a triple-double – becoming only the 7th player in their history to do so.
However, he’s now been playing a reduced role ever since Kyrie Irving’s return to the fold. Kyrie has, in fact, been taking the most shots of the trio. Many people are critical of this, as Kevin Durant and Harden are both perceived as better players. This hasn’t deterred any of them.
James Harden speaks about new role alongside Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant
Harden came in clutch for last night’s game against the Heat. The two teams entered the 4th quarter last night with no breathing room. The Nets’ defense stifled the Heat offense to no end, while Harden scored 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting. This was enough to see his team through.
Harden finished with numbers of 20 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds. These are still amazing numbers, but they’re a far cry from his humongous scoring numbers with the Rockets. When asked about this in the presser, Harden had a diplomatic but fair answer ready:
“I was in a role for 8 years controlling the ball, dominating the ball. Now, it’s a different experience for me, but it’s still great. It’s still basketball at the end of the day. I’m lucky to be able to do more than just one thing on the basketball court. It’s fun.”
James Harden: “I was in a role for 8 years controlling the ball, dominating the ball. Now, it’s a different experience for me, but it’s still great. It’s still basketball at the end of the day. I’m lucky to be able to do more than just one thing on the basketball court. It’s fun”
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) January 26, 2021
The Beard is now starting to take a shine to the playmaker’s role. His passing has always been underrated – Harden won the assists title in 2016-17.