In his first public feedback since March, hamstrung Nets star James Harden mentioned he’s not solely assured he’ll be again by the beginning of the postseason, however that he plans to return before the top of the common season.
With the Nets taking a three-game skid into Dallas Thursday, he can’t come again quickly sufficient.
After a prolonged exercise Thursday, Harden spoke to the media and mentioned he’s clearing the ultimate benchmarks wanted to return from a proper hamstring pressure. And he left little question that he absolutely expects to be on the court docket for a May 22 playoff opener.
“Very, very confident,” mentioned Harden. “I suppose the mark I’ve to hit is the work that I did (Thursday), and I’ve a few these with none feeling. That’s just about the mark. But I’m very assured I’ll be again before the postseason, yeah.
“I feel really good. Just trying to get my conditioning back. Just changing speeds, changing direction, making sure you know, the power and quickness is there to be able to move how I move. But so far, so good. (Thursday) was really good and we’ve just got to keep building on that.”
With 5 dates left on the regular-season slate after Thursday, Harden sounded bullish about enjoying a recreation or two by the May 16 finale vs. Cleveland – and his much-needed playmaking making a distinction for the suddenly-struggling Nets.
“You’re trying to get me on the first question. That’s the plan,” mentioned Harden. “The plan is to hopefully get a possibility to play a pair video games before the postseason. We’re simply taking at some point at a time, and I’m going to depart it at that.
“And for the next part, yeah of course my playmaking, scoring and IQ and all that good stuff (should help). But we’ve had a number of opportunities to win games that we didn’t win, and it’s because of the little things we’re not doing consistently.”
The reality about Brooklyn and their Big Three is that with Harden, the Nets have been magnificent. Without him, they’ve been mediocre. Or worse.
The Nets are 27-7 when Harden performs, but 16-16 when he doesn’t. And for the reason that January deal that introduced Harden to Brooklyn, after they’ve had to play with out him they have been simply 9-10 coming into Thursday.
The Big Three have solely logged 186 minutes collectively, however Harden was assured that doubling down on the main points will assist, as will his return.
“Not an issue at all. One of the things that a lot of teams don’t have is talent, so we don’t have to worry about that aspect. We can control the rebounding, and the screening. We can watch film and get better than better at that. But skill-wise we’re elite; so, no, I’m not worried at all,” mentioned Harden.
“I love where we are as a team. And once I get back, just uphill from there.”
These have been James Harden’s first public feedback since March 29. He’d felt a twinge in his hamstring throughout a win over Houston two days later and left the sport early. He missed the following two video games before making a comeback towards the Knicks that was all too transient.
He lasted simply 4:22 in that April 5 tilt at Barclays Center, and hasn’t played since. After being on the verge of a comeback, he’d suffered a setback on April 20.
“I thought I was returning. But then obviously the feeling still wasn’t there,” mentioned Harden. “So you need to be affected person. As a lot as I like the ring, I would like to be on the market, however you’ve bought to be good. And for me, it was alright let’s knock this factor out, get this factor wholesome, so we are able to make a push.
“For me, (I’ve been) going into the postseasons basically since I’ve been in Houston I’ve been playing heavy minutes, just carrying the load. This is an opportunity for me to get my body right going into the postseason, with a clear mind and a clear body. You’ve got 16 games to win; that’s the ultimate goal. That’s the reason why I came to Brooklyn.”