James Harden discusses early-season struggles

·12 min read

Matt Brooks: James Harden: “As much as I want to get back to 30s and 40s points, I can’t do that. As much as I want to, as much as I would love to, I didn’t have any opportunities to play pickup. It was all rehab.”
Source: Twitter

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CBS NBA @CBSSportsNBA
James Harden blames bad start on lack of ‘pickup’ ball, but anyone can see impact of new free-throw reality
by @Brad Botkin
cbssports.com/nba/news/james…1:43 AM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
James Harden after the #Nets get beat 31-4 in 2nd-chance points by the #Heat: “Its got to be a team effort. We have to gang rebound; we have to make sure we’re conscious of gang rebounding & putting bodies on guys. At the end of the day we have to fight.” nypost.com/2021/10/27/net…1:05 AM

Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM
James Harden is slowly making his way back from his hamstring injury. He’s scored 15 or fewer points in 3 straight for 1st time since 2011-12. “Just getting more confident…As much as I want to get back to [scoring] 30’s and 40 points, I can’t [right now]” espn.com/nba/story/_/id…12:48 AM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
#Nets still missing the old James Harden nypost.com/2021/10/28/net… via @nypostsports12:29 AM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
James Harden was 0 of 7 tonight when defended by Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, or PJ Tucker – 11:58 PM

StatMuse @statmuse
Full Russell Westbrook experience tonight.
20 PTS
14 REB
13 AST
10 TOV
2 TECHS
It’s his 6th quadruple-hobble of his career, the most by a player since the 3-point era (1980). Next closest player has half that (Harden with 3). pic.twitter.com/VvwXC9OYAF10:36 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
Russell Westbrook has recorded his sixth career triple-double in which he’s also committed at least 10 turnovers.
Since the NBA started tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78, the only other player with more than one such game is James Harden (3). – 10:23 PM

StatMuse @statmuse
Most quadruple-hobbles (triple-double with 10 turnovers) since 1985:
6 — Russell Westbrook
3 — James Harden
1 — 6 players tied pic.twitter.com/dyFNASfGxy10:19 PM

Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM
James Harden said he spent entire offseason rehabbing his hamstring and wasn’t able to play pickup like he normally would. He says as much as he wants to score 30 and 40 points right now, he has to build his way back to that as he gets more games under his belt. Harden had 14-7-7 – 10:17 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
James Harden said given his durability before his hamstring injury this is uncharted waters for him where he has to play himself back into his old self and build up his confidence. – 10:14 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
James Harden says,
“I have been blessed to not have any surgeries— I love to hoop. If it wasn’t for the money I would still be hooping.” – 10:13 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
James Harden believes that he needs to go through this struggle offensively so that he could go back to “hooping and killing” again. – 10:11 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
“It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be a smooth sail.”
⁃James Harden on the Nets’ early struggles. – 10:10 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
James Harden said his three turnovers with LaMarcus Aldridge were part of them figuring each other out. Says they don’t get a lot of practice reps in season so they have to go through this in games. – 10:08 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
James Harden says,
“Tough, it’s tough to lose games like this, but it’s a part of the process — I know we’re all frustrated.” – 10:08 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
“At the end of the day, we’ve got to fight.”
⁃James Harden on losing the rebounding battle. – 10:07 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
Steve Nash says,
“James (Harden) is showing signs of getting his rhythm back.” – 10:01 PM

Brian Geltzeiler @hoopscritic
James Harden told us he was in great shape coming into this season. He was pulling our leg. His conditioning leaves a lot to be desired – 10:01 PM

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42
Brooklyn is now a -55 in the 2nd half of the 3 losses this season.
An average James Harden equals an average team right now. – 9:56 PM

Vincent Goodwill @VinceGoodwill
Big win for Miami in Brooklyn. Played the game on their physical terms, made life uncomfortable for the Nets scorers. Harden has to get going – 9:56 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Final: Nets fall to the Heat 106-93. Kevin Durant with 25 points in the loss. Joe Harris with 15 and the franchise 3-point record, but Brooklyn’s offense didn’t do much more after that. Harden still isn’t himself and Miami outscored in the paint, in transition, etc. – 9:55 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
FINAL: Nets 93, Heat 106
Kevin Durant (25 PTS, 11 REBS), Joe Harris (15 PTS, 5 3PM), James Harden (14 PTS, 7 ASTS, 7 REBS) & the Nets fall to 2-3 on the season. Second chance points, dominance in the interior and bench production was a recipe for success all night for the Heat. – 9:55 PM

Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
Don’t know if it’s in his nature, but Nash might have to get more vocal fighting for Harden calls. Understand you’re going to lose some of them this year, can’t afford to lose most. – 9:37 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
This is an important shot for Harden to take and make, going to his left off the pick and roll in rhythm without having to go into a dribbling exhibition first. Haven’t seen much of this from him lately. pic.twitter.com/Wml4zA85La9:36 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Nash rolling with KD, Harden, Harris, Mills and Millsap down eight with eight left. – 9:33 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Markieff Morris just ran up court with one hand up, to signal he was about to foul James Harden, then absolutely mauled Harden with the other arm lmao – 9:25 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
End of 3rd QTR: Nets 74, Heat 81
Kevin Durant (20 PTS, 10 REBS), Joe Harris (12 PTS, 4 3PM), James Harden (11 PTS) & the Nets are in a good one. It has been a physical game up until this point with both teams prioritizing the paint. It’s going to come down to who wants it more. – 9:21 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
James Harden and LaMarcus Aldridge are not in-sync tonight. Three turnovers off bounce passes coming down the lane. Miami’s got 17points off Nets’ turnovers. – 9:11 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
James Harden and LaMarcus Aldridge need more practice time together. – 9:11 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Second turnover by Harden explicitly on bounce pass to LMA after the pick and roll – 9:07 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
End of quarter preswitching cat and mouse game. Nets eventually get the matchup but Harden misses pic.twitter.com/xqmOTlh7ZM8:44 PM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
#Nets closed the half on a 22-8 run, capped by that Harden-to-Blake alley oop for an and-one. They lead the #Heat 51-49 at the break. #NBA8:38 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Halftime: Nets lead the Heat 51-49. Durant with 13, Harden with 11. Nets down by 10 on the boards. Admirable second quarter, but Brooklyn needs more support scoring wise against a team like this. The stars can’t do it all. – 8:38 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Nets 51, Heat 49 at half. Heat had led by 12 in second period, then Harden got going in his 11-point period. Butler with 12 points for Heat, Adebayo 10. – 8:37 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
Half: Nets 51, Heat 49
Kevin Durant (13 PTS, 8 REBS), James Harden (11 PTS) and the Nets have creeped back into the game. Miami is absolutely feasting in the paint through. They aren’t heating up at all from the perimeter. Miami has also capitalized off of second chance points. – 8:37 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Harden finds Griffin for the dunk and the foul. Nets lead 51-49 after the free throw. – 8:36 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
After a number of attempts to draw fouls went awry, two decisive attacks by Harden yield a dunk and a deserved foul. He’s starting to feast on the likes of Strus, Herro, and Robinson. – 8:33 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
James Harden went on a personal 11-2 run to bring the Nets back from down 12. We’ve got a 47-42 game in Brooklyn. The Heat are playing physical and the refs are letting everything go, though the 2nd quarter has been more even in fouls called (9-8 MIA). – 8:27 PM

Barbara Barker @meanbarb
Harden showing signs of life big time here. Has scored 11 points in the second quarter and Barclays crowd is chanting his name. – 8:26 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
The Heat are playing like the Bad Boy Pistons the way they just destroyed Harden on the way to the rim. – 8:23 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
James Harden’s on fire. First a side-step 3. Then a driving dunk. Now a stepback 3 for a 4-point play.
Harden has all 8 of his points in the 2nd quarter and hasn’t missed a shot this period. – 8:23 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
James Harden heating up. Hits his second 3 of the quarter and has a chance for a four-point play. Heat lead down to five. – 8:23 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Harden finally gets one to go. – 8:20 PM

Micah Adams @MicahAdams13
James Harden fouls drawn from 3-pointers
2019-20: 72 in 68 games
2020-21: 19 in 44 games
2021-22: 1 in 4 games – 8:20 PM

Todd Whitehead @CrumpledJumper
No free throws yet for Harden in Brooklyn tonight. pic.twitter.com/wvDBV67TBh8:16 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
Oof, Harden not playing well right now on either end pic.twitter.com/ndAXIpH1K08:13 PM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
Miami has to take advantage of this stretch with no Harden or Durant on the floor – 8:11 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Harden is complaining about the foul, but the foul came after Butler got all ball clean. Officials are currently reviewing whether LMA’s foul is a clear path foul — which it certainly – 8:00 PM

Yaron Weitzman @YaronWeitzman
I don’t think I’ve ever seen James Harden avoid contact the way he just did on that drive. Probably a good example of the new rules messing with him – 7:43 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Jimmy Butler on James Harden and P.J. Tucker on Kevin Durant, as expected. – 7:42 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Tucker on Durant
Butler on Harden
That’s gonna be tough – 7:37 PM

Quinton Mayo @RealQuintonMayo
MY NBA/MLB PLAYS SO FAR TONIGHT:
Wizards ML +150
Beal o26.5 -120
Durant o2.5 3P +115
Harden o20.5 points -120
Braves ML +100 pic.twitter.com/ggWnmX2nmg7:36 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Nets starters vs. Miami: Harden, Harris, Durant, Brown and Griffin – 7:05 PM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
Brooklyn going with the Brown, Harden, Harris, Durant, Griffin lineup
That’s better for Miami IMO
Plenty of switching without many negative effects
Expect a bunch of Bam on Harden through soft switching, and Jimmy Butler passing lane activity on weakside – 7:05 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Usual starters for Heat: Bam Adebayo, P.J. Tucker, Jimmy Butler Duncan Robinson, Kyle Lowry.
For Nets: Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Bruce Brown, James Harden, Joe Harris. – 7:02 PM

Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM
Nets starting James Harden, Kevin Durant, Joe Harris, Bruce Brown and Blake Griffin. – 7:01 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Heat starters: Bam, Duncan, Jimmy, Tucker and Lowry.
Nets starters: Harden, Harris, Durant, Brown and Griffin. – 7:01 PM

Ajayi Browne @ajayibrowne
“He’s played such little basketball for the lat six months — Allow him time to get back to his best.”
⁃Steve Nash on James Harden adjusting to the league’s new rules concerning fouls. – 5:56 PM

The Vertical @YahooSportsNBA
On this day nine years ago, the Thunder traded James Harden to the Rockets and broke up their Big 3.
How many titles do they win if this trade never happened? pic.twitter.com/E3Nwz34uhb11:42 AM

Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA
Lowe Post podcast: Around the Eastern Conference w/ @Tim Bontemps: THE BULLS ARE BACK, plus early takes on Charlotte, Boston, Nets/Harden, Raps, other East teams — and tidbits on Lakers, Thunder, more:
Apple: apple.co/3pBlVBb
Spotify: spoti.fi/3nyLjVk10:46 AM

Jake Madison @NOLAJake
New Locked on Pelicans w/ @John Karalis
🏀 Vintage Russell Westbrook in Lakers win
🏀 Nikola Jokic leaves with knee injury
🏀 Real or Fake: Are the Bulls back? James Harden concerns?
🎧 https://t.co/eryu8GLZtd pic.twitter.com/3cv0MPd3kv10:21 AM

More on this storyline

Harden says this is unfamiliar territory for him coming back from a significant injury and having to be patient with his offense. “My career, I’ve been blessed,” Harden said. “Just not having surgeries or whatnot. So just this whole process last year was just like frustrating and draining. … It was draining for me to know that I couldn’t be myself and be out there on the floor and be the player that I am [at the end of last season]. “But I’m finally slowly getting back to it. It just takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But it’s gonna happen. But you got to just continue to keep fighting, and I will.” -via ESPN / October 28, 2021

“I had no opportunities to play pickup or nothing this summer,” Harden said. “Everything was rehab for three months, from a Grade 2 injury that happened three times in one season. So this is my fifth game of trying to just play with competition against somebody else. And as much as I want to rush the process and be back to hooping and killing, [have to] take your time.” -via ESPN / October 28, 2021

Michael Scotto: James Harden on his hamstring: “I’m 100 percent. I’m back.” pic.twitter.com/MP8oMcYm2I -via Twitter @MikeAScotto / September 27, 2021

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