The Brooklyn Nets have had an eventful seven-game sequence towards the Milwaukee Bucks. By two video games, it regarded just like the Nets had been going to roll proper via Milwaukee and advance to the Japanese Convention Finals.
Then the Nets went to Milwaukee for Video games 3 and 4, which included two shedding efforts and the lack of Kyrie Irving for the remainder of the sequence. Recreation 5 included a historic efficiency from Kevin Durant to offer the Nets a 3-2 sequence lead earlier than shedding in Milwaukee, which compelled a closing contest.
Durant has been unbelievable, particularly since Irving went down with the sprained ankle. Sadly, Irving has already been dominated out for Recreation 7.
Nearly as good as Durant has been, James Harden additionally deserves plenty of credit score to getting the Nets to a Recreation 7 on this sequence.
James Harden deserves credit score for getting the Brooklyn Nets to Recreation 7.
Within the opening minute of Recreation 1 towards Bucks, Harden re-injured the hamstring that has given him points all through the season. Hamstrings are historically difficult, as they’ve excessive charge of re-injury. Most assumed that Harden could be a protracted shot to even return within the sequence, however as soon as Irving went down, Harden pushed the Nets group to have him play in Recreation 5.
his stats, Harden’s Recreation 5 efficiency was uninspiring. Harden scored 5 factors and added six rebounds and eight assists on 1-10 taking pictures, however his stats don’t inform the entire story.
Suppose again to Recreation 4, after Irving went down, Durant struggled to get his shot going and his Nets teammates regarded misplaced. Within the second half of that sport, Durant shot 5-15 and all the time appeared to have strain on him or face a double group. Oftentimes, PJ Tucker or one other Bucks defender was selecting him up full courtroom, not terrified of the Nets beating their full courtroom press.
That’s the place Harden is available in.
Harden took plenty of strain off of Durant in Recreation 5 and that allowed him to thrive. Harden grew to become the first ball handler in that sport, which allowed Durant to deal with scoring and being a secondary playmaker. Even a banged up Harden posed as a menace from the perimeter. That’s one thing the Bucks didn’t should take care of within the earlier 4 video games of the sequence. As a direct consequence, that allowed Durant to see fewer double groups and extra favorable matchups.
Durant stands out as the solely wholesome star on the Nets proper now, however it takes greater than stars to win championships. Even when an injured Harden is a glorified position participant, he’s the glorified position participant the Nets have to win this sequence.