Harden’s 7th Triple-Double: There is no denying that James Harden has transitioned smoothly into his new environment. Even with Kevin Durant’s absence since February 13th, the Brooklyn Nets have not missed a beat as they headed to San Antonio on Monday (7-1 in the stretch). The Nets haven’t had much success in the Spurs home court for almost two decades.
The Nets have lost seventeen straight games in the Alamo since their New Jersey Nets days dating back to the year 2002. The organization’s all-time record was not much better as they were 4-43 heading into Monday. However, the Nets had different plans.
The short-handed Spurs gave it their best effort to make it a competitive game in the fourth quarter. Despite missing a few key players, the team was able to overcome a ten-point deficit with 2:12 remaining in the game by forcing overtime.
The game could have gone either way if it wasn’t for James Harden’sHarden’s record-breaking performance that sent waves across the league. His teammate Kyrie Irving said it best after the game;
“We have to implement the phrase ”get used to it.”
Kyrie Irving has handed the keys over to Harden to run the point guard position.
Harden’s Record-Breaking Performance
The former MVP put on an absolute clinic and looked like numbers you would see in a videogame. Harden finished the game with an impressive 30 points, 14 rebounds, 15 assists, and most notably, 0 turnovers. “The Beard” ” is the first player to record at least 30 points, 15 assists, 10 boards, and no turnovers since the 1977-78 season.
Individual turnovers started to be tracked at the start of the 1977-78 season; however, Harden has been on an absolute tear since joining the team.
He helped the team overcome some bad defensive possessions in the fourth and were able to blow out the Spurs in overtime. Harden and the team outscored the Spurs 16-5 in overtime to hack out the victory and improve to 23-13. The offense mostly starts with Harden, even though he is listed as a shooting guard on paper.
His all-around presence has become the norm ever since he joined the team. Simultaneously, the floor’s generals scoring numbers are down compared to the numbers he had with the Houston Rockets. He currently leads the NBA with 11.4 assists along with a stellar 8.4 rebounds. Harden has notched his 7th triple-double since joining the Nets.
There is no doubt that James Harden should be in the MVP conversation because of what the team has achieved even without Kevin Durant. The Nets will mostly be active at the trade deadline looking for pieces to bolster their bench for an NBA Finals run. Harden’s 7th triple-double was just a classic example of how elite James Harden is.
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Houston We Have a Problem
The Brooklyn Nets will close out the first half of the season at Houston, where Harden began. “The Beard” initially did not like the direction was going in as former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey left the organization because he wanted to go east. Soon after, Morey became the new president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harden will be facing off against his former team, where he became the dominant player the league and the rest of the basketball world know today. It will be interesting to see how Harden plays in this situation because it will be an emotional game, whether it be due to him returning to the arena or the turmoil caused when Harden departed the Rockets.