Brooklyn Nets: James Harden suffering setback is tremendous blow ahead of playoffs

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Brooklyn Nets fans have been impatiently gearing up for James Harden’s return since his hamstring injury coincided with Kevin Durant’s long layoff finally coming to an end.

But the Net’s Big 3 now really won’t get the necessary time to gel before the postseason.

According to the latest buzz, Harden has reportedly suffered a setback during his rehab process and will be out indefinitely. The Nets confirmed it all shortly after reports dropped.

It’s hard to admit that this news isn’t terrible for a Nets team still trying to get on track with its premier talent with the playoffs a month away.

Harden first suffered the injury in a game against his former team, the Houston Rockets, back on March 31. He left that contest early and sat out the next two before returning against the Knicks on April 5 … before leaving in the first quarter after aggravating his hamstring.

He’s been on the shelf ever since then, but it was assumed he wasn’t too far off before Tuesday’s incident. Head coach Steve Nash revealed that though Harden, essentially, may or may not be back before the playoffs now that the star guard is “back at square one.”

As of now, Harden, Durant and Kyrie Irving have played in only six full games together. Another telling nugget? The Nets are 11-12 without Harden whereas they boast winning records without Durant and Irving. Though Harden’s injury update is almost as dismal as it gets, the only positive that could emerge is that the team figures out a way to successfully adjust without him, which would help them immensely when faced with situations in which he needs to take a breather or is in foul trouble.

But they’ll once again have to do that without Durant on Tuesday as well after he suffered a thigh contusion on Sunday. He’ll be out against the Pelicans and will miss yet another back-to-back. Durant hasn’t been fully unleashed since the end of January, which, one could argue, poses another problem for Brooklyn.

With Harden’s latest setback, fans can expect the Nets to be overly cautious because he cannot miss the postseason if this team wants to make a Finals run.