James Harden’s Hand Injury Sounds Concerning For Nets

James Harden, Brooklyn Nets, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Brooklyn Nets are mired in a skid that they haven’t experienced in recent NBA seasons. The team has lost six consecutive games, which is the most they have lost since they started building their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden.

Brooklyn has fallen to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, only 1.5 games clear of the NBA Play-In Tournament. A big reason for the drop in the standings is that Durant is dealing with an MCL sprain that will keep him sidelined for a few more weeks.

Without Durant, the team is 2-7 this season and that record stands to get worse in the coming weeks.

Not only is the team without Durant, but Irving is still ineligible to play in home games because of the vaccination mandate in New York City. Irving, who remains unvaccinated, is not allowed to play in games at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden.

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That leaves Harden as the only full-time member of their Big 3, but even he is hurting. Harden missed a game recently against the Golden State Warriors because of a hand issue.

“It happened probably a few weeks ago,” Harden said of the injury. “Probably two weeks ago. Just from falling, getting to the basket and hitting the ground, so it was already hurting me, but I was just playing through it. And I lifted weights the day before the game, before we left on the road, and I probably just irritated it or whatnot, so that next morning I woke up and I really couldn’t move my hand at all.

“It actually woke me up pretty early. So I was just calling the trainer just to figure out what the hell was going on, and then I got an MRI and it was a strain so it’s calmed down, I’m back on the court, just got to keep going.”

James Harden said that he missed the game against the Warriors because he couldn’t physically move his hand. But, as long as he can move his hand, he will be out there playing. He was able to return to the court for both games this week, but the results weren’t great.

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Harden shot 6-of-19 against the Phoenix Suns, which he followed up with an abysmal performance against the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have one of the worst defenses in the NBA, but Harden struggled, shooting only 2-of-11 from the field and going 0-for-5 from 3-point range.

Given how poorly he has played since the injury worsened, it sounds like some rest is needed. The injury seems worse than he or theBrooklyn Nets are letting on and some time away from the court could do him some good in getting back to 100 percent.

But, with the current state of the roster, it is unlikely that Harden will miss much time. But, sitting him down until his hand is healed is something that the Nets should seriously consider. He already has been ruled out against the Utah Jazz on Friday. They are not going to be able to achieve their goal of winning an NBA Championship if Harden is hampered in the postseason as he was last year with hamstring woes.

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TheBrooklyn Nets have two games remaining on their road trip, so Kyrie Irving still be in the lineup. After playing against the Jazz and Denver Nuggets, the Nets will return home for a game against the Boston Celtics before heading back out on the road.