Brooklyn Nets: 3 most surprising players after first chunk of games

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 20: Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 20: Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets, James Harden
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 23: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

No. 1: James Harden

Harden is scoring and piling up triple-doubles. Why is that surprising? Well, Harden came to the Nets as an MVP who primarily impacted the game by putting the ball in the basket. Due to the fact he’s had to cede shots to Irving and Durant, Harden has become Brooklyn’s linchpin on both sides of the floor.

Harden is still scoring, as he is averaging 24.9 points per game despite shooting far less than he was in Houston. What has really made Harden, the team’s designated point guard, so valuable is what he does apart from his scoring.

Harden is doing it all for the Nets

Harden is averaging 11.4 assists per game with the Nets, a mark that is currently topping the league. Harden, who is shooting 50% overall and 40% from three, is showing that his defensive deficiencies have been overblown. His performance against LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard shows what he can do when he gives his full effort on that end.

While Durant and Irving will provide scoring, the Nets needed someone who can play solid defense, keep the ball moving, rebound effectively, and make clutch shots when called upon. Harden has proven that he can do all three, and that ability to do whatever Nash asks will make the Nets one of the league’s few true contenders.

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