Brooklyn Nets: ‘Confident’ James Harden speaks to media during rehab

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 17: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 17: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets have been going through a very rough patch over the last few games, as two straight games against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks is exactly what this team did not need to go up against while James Harden was on the mend.

Just when it looked like the Big Three was finally going to link up again, Harden went down.

No one is doubting how good Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving can be, but the combination of all three of them has only been deployed for seven games, though Brooklyn is 5-2 in those contests.

This team, in the eyes of the outsiders, needs time to figure out how their lineup can work against elite teams with so many moving parts and ball-dominant superstars. Harden is taking a much more reserved approach to this, as he is focusing on gradually working his way back into the rotation. Nets fans have to like where he’s at in his recovery.

Harden, speaking to the media for the first time in weeks, claimed on Thursday that he feels “really good” about his recovery, and he is currently getting back into shape as we speak.

Harden gave Nets fans a nice dopamine boost, saying that he is very confident he will return to action before the postseason comes around.

James Harden will likely return to the Brooklyn Nets.

Harden has already made his mark on the Nets, as the only player in franchise history with more triple-doubles than him is the great Jason Kidd. Harden’s scoring might be down, but he is still swiping rebounds at an above-average rate and could end up winning another assist title if he ends up qualifying.

Harden might not be the best defender in the world, but is one of Brooklyn’s best, and it became painfully obvious that the Nets were lacking someone with his ability on both ends of the floor against Milwaukee. Harden locked up Kawhi Leonard and Paul George earlier in the season, so why couldn’t he impact Giannis and Khris Middleton?

Brooklyn allowed the Philadelphia 76ers to take the top spot, meaning that Harden will need to hit the ground running to get the Nets ready for a likely second-round playoff matchup against Milwaukee. Something tells me that someone with his ability to get hot on offense and versatility would scare Mike Budenholzer more than…DeAndre Jordan.

The Nets have enough talent to beat any team in the league, even on their worst day, but the loss of Harden has completely thrown the Nets off-center. With Brooklyn looking to gear up for what should be a very competitive playoff run, getting Harden back into top shape could be the secret ingredient that wakes the Nets up.