2. Kyrie Irving’s absence
Whether you agree with Kyrie Irving’s stance on the COVID-19 vaccine or not, it’s hard not to miss his presence on the court. Without Irving, Harden has stepped in as Brooklyn’s point guard and it has only heightened his problems on offense.
Harden’s 4.8 turnovers per game are currently the worst in the league. He’s turned the ball over a total of 111 times. As the player that’s been tasked with facilitating the offense, Harden hasn’t done well. Irving ran a seamless, fast-paced offense, and that hasn’t been the case for Harden.
What makes the situation so bizarre is that Harden successfully built his reputation as a point guard with the Rockets. When he was traded to the Nets, Irving and Harden split time as the team’s point guards but for some reason that comfortability hasn’t transitions over to this season when Harden’s been tasked with the primary role.
After Brooklyn’s 113-107 loss to Phoenix on Nov. 27, Harden said that he’s had difficulties establishing a form of balance. That was obvious vs the Suns because he contributed seven turnovers to the team’s season-high total of 20.
Harden looks uncomfortable at times on the floor. He’s made lazy, nonchalant passes and hasn’t exactly taken the best/most efficient shots, which has resulted in his 40.3% shooting from the field.
With the game on the line, the Nets should feel comfortable with the ball in the hands of their point guard, but that hasn’t been the case. Are the Nets going to have to acquire a true starting point guard before the trade deadline?
If this continues, they may have no choice.