Brooklyn Nets: Why didn’t James Harden get same injury treatment as Kevin Durant?

Nets guard James Harden (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Nets guard James Harden (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets might have taken down the rival New York Knicks on the back of a sensational performance from Kyrie Irving, but the night was not without some controversy thanks to an injury flare-up around superstar guard James Harden.

Harden played just four minutes before leaving the game, as he tried to play through a hamstring injury that sidelined him against the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls. Perhaps trying to tough it out for Brooklyn’s rivalry game against the Knicks, Harden was unable to get it done.

Kevin Durant has missed a large portion of this season with his hamstring injury, and it appears Harden might now miss some time right as Durant was gearing up to return to the lineup.

Head coach Steve Nash said that while there is no indication that Harden damaged his hamstring, that doesn’t negate the fact that he shouldn’t have been out there in the first place. Did they learn nothing from Durant?

Why was Brooklyn Nets star James Harden even playing last night?

The Nets might be fighting for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but that shouldn’t overrule getting all three of their superstars healthy for the postseason. That should be the main priority, especially when there have been only a handful of games in which all three of them have played together.

It would’ve been nice to have Harden and Kyrie for a rivalry game against a Knicks team that remains one of the best defensive squads in the game. Having said that, was it worth putting an already hobbled Harden out on the floor? Durant hasn’t played a game in weeks. Why couldn’t Harden be afforded that same luxury?

Isn’t the point of assembling this much superstar talent that when one or more of them is sitting out due to injury or rest, Brooklyn can lean on the services of a player like Irving, who torched the Knicks for 40 while putting on a clinic in tough shot-making? As Kyrie proved last night, he is more than capable of leading this team to wins essentially by himself for a game or two.

The Nets have one of the best fallback options in modern sports history, as they have their pick of one of five potential Hall of Fame players to lean on if you include Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. Instead of relying on their depth, Brooklyn rushed Harden back from injury, potentially making things much worse.