The Brooklyn Nets maintain the NBA’s best offense, scoring more than 1.17 points per possession, which isn’t a surprise given the team’s top-end talent. However, the Nets have deployed their top three players for only seven games during the 2020-21 season, and Brooklyn could be adding to that total in the near future. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews report that James Harden “is expected to be a game-time decision” for Brooklyn’s game against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
Harden last took the court in a game setting on Apr. 5 against the New York Knicks, though he appeared for only four minutes before exiting with a hamstring ailment. While he was seemingly ramping up in mid-to-late April, word eventually broke on Apr. 20 that Harden endured something of a setback and, with only a few games remaining in the regular season, Harden has expressed the desire to get some reps before the bright lights of the postseason arrive.
As usual, Harden has been electric when on the court this season, averaging 25.2 points, 10.9 assists, and eight rebounds per game with a 61 percent true shooting mark since joining the Nets. Harden’s on-court fit has been seamless in his new home, particularly given his willingness to act more as a facilitator than during his time in Houston. That adjustment allows Brooklyn to deploy a truly terrifying offense at full strength, and many believe the Nets are the favorites in the Eastern Conference as a result.
The Nets are at home for the remainder of the regular season, which could make things a bit easier for Harden to ease into his return. There is still a chance Harden does not return against San Antonio, but Brooklyn has two days off following the Spurs game before hosting the Chicago Bulls on Saturday and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the regular season finale on Sunday. It is a small window, but Brooklyn may be able to see a brief glimpse of their full team unit, which might be extremely valuable before almost a full week off between the end of the regular season and Game 1 of the opening round.