NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets' guard James Harden stated that he is gaining confidence, but that his offensive game is limited as he recovers from a offseason of rehab for a hamstring injury.
Harden's slow start continued Wednesday night. He finished the Brooklyn game with 14 points and seven rebounds, as well as seven assists. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Harden has now scored 15 points or less in three consecutive games since the 2011-12 season.
After shooting 4-for-12, Harden stated that he was just getting more confident and being more aggressive. It's improving every game. Although I would love to score 30 points and 40 points again, it's not possible right now. Although I wish I could, I don't have the time.
Harden was severely restricted in the playoffs by a hamstring injury he sustained in the second-half of last season. Harden has been working hard to get back to his previous 24.6 point average.
Harden stated that he had not been able to play any pickup or no-pickup games this summer. "Everything was rehab for 3 months from a Grade 2 Injury that occurred three times in a season. This is my fifth attempt to play against someone else. As much as I would love to hurry the process and get back to killing and hooping, you have to take your time.
The Nets, like Harden are getting off to a slow start with Kyrie Irving out. After being hammered on offensive glass, they fell to 2-3. Miami seized 17 offensive rebounds, outscoring the Nets 31-4 for second-chance points.
Steve Nash has emphasized patience in his experiments with lineups, rotations, and how the Nets can adapt without Irving. Irving, Brooklyn's point guard, will not be allowed to play in New York City's home games unless he has received at least one vaccine shot. Irving was not allowed to play as a part-time player by the Nets and will instead only be permitted to travel outside New York City.
Brooklyn has suffered three losses, each by 17.3 points.
Kevin Durant had 25 points and 11 boards in Wednesday's loss to the Nets. Durant was then asked about what the Nets lack offensively. I know what you want. Durant said that Kyrie is missing him, and that he enjoys the defense and effort he sees from the Nets. "We do. He is a member of our team.
"But for most of the time, we've generated great shots and we've been getting in the paint. It's all about us knocking them down. They will come, I believe."
Harden said that this was unfamiliar territory after a serious injury. He also had to be patient with his offense.
Harden stated, "My career, it's been a blessing." "Just not having surgery or whatnot. This whole year's process was frustrating and exhausting. ... It was exhausting to realize that I couldn’t be me and play on the court and be the player I was [at the end] of last season.
"But it's slowly coming back. It takes hard work and dedication. It's going to happen. You have to continue fighting and I will."