James Harden won’t have to wait to get a chance for a first impression with the Brooklyn Nets. Prior to the team’s game against the Orlando Magic on Saturday evening, the Nets announced that Harden, who was acquired earlier this week in a four-way deal that saw his time with the Houston Rockets come to an end, will be available to suit up.
The Nets just announced James Harden is available to play tonight
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 16, 2021
On Friday, Nets coach Steve Nash said that Harden will be inserted into the starting lineup as soon as he is able to play, and prior to the game against Orlando, he confirmed that will be the case. As Malika Andrews of ESPN noted, it will be the first action of any kind that Harden has with his new teammates, as he was unable to practice with the team prior to Saturday’s game.
Harden will start for the Nets in his debut against the Orlando Magic tonight, Steve Nash confirms.
Nash said yesterday that as soon as Harden was available, he would start. It will be Harden's first on-court action with the team, as Harden was unable to practice yesterday. https://t.co/uqUifREIk9
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) January 16, 2021
It will not be the fully-formed version of the Nets, as Kyrie Irving still will not be able to take the floor due to his extended leave of absence, but at the very least, this should afford the opportunity to see what Harden looks like alongside Kevin Durant. We’ll have to wait for Irving’s return to see what the team looks like at its theoretical best, and in the meantime, Harden will get to get the rust off alongside his old Oklahoma City Thunder teammate.