Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
Prior for their 134-129 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, the Nets declared Harden will be out indefinitely after a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. After the game, Irving told reporters he and the rest of the team”all want reps together” but Harden’s health is paramount:
With Tuesday’s triumph, Brooklyn enhanced to 39-19, putting the team just 0.5 matches back of the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in the Eastern Conference.
And Harden, Irving and Kevin Durant have been excellent individually this season. Irving and Durant are averaging 27.3 points apiece, while Harden has nearly submitted a triple-double (25.4 points, 11.0 assists, 8.7 rebounds) considering joining the squad.
However, the trio has played seven games and totaled 186 minutes collectively so far, per NBA.com.
The Los Angeles Clippers‘ collapse in last year’s playoffs was a prime example of how the postseason is an entirely different beast from the regular season. Granted, the Nets haven’t experienced the kind of drama that ultimately provided the signs for Los Angeles’ exit.
But it remains to be seen the way head coach Steve Nash will have the ability to make it function with Durant, Harden and Irving on the court at the exact same moment. It doesn’t count for much given the limited sample, however, the Nets have a 114.0 defensive evaluation when they have played together, according to NBA.com.
Accelerating Harden’s recovery isn’t advisable since it would leave him in danger of suffering another injury. Brooklyn would definitely benefit from him returning as quickly as possible, though, so the team could get a better sense of what things are like at full advantage.
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Turner batted in the top of the first inning before exiting