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#pounditTuesday, June 22, 2021

James Harden ‘very confident’ of return before playoffs

James Harden

The Brooklyn Nets are running out of time if they want to get their big three some time together on the floor before the playoffs start. James Harden is confident that the chance will come.

Harden, who has been out since April 5 with a hamstring injury, said Thursday he is “very confident” that he’ll be back before the start of the playoffs.

“The plan is to hopefully get an opportunity to play a couple games before the postseason,” Harden said, via Malika Andrews of ESPN. “We’re just taking one day at a time.”

Harden added that the presence of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving actually meant he didn’t need to rush back and carry the team, as had been the case with the Houston Rockets in years past.

“At this point in my career, going to postseasons basically since I’ve been in Houston, I’ve been playing heavy minutes, just carrying the load,” Harden said. “And this was an opportunity for me to keep my body right going into the postseason with a clear mind and a clear body. You’ve got 16 games to win. That’s the ultimate goal. That’s the reason why I came to Brooklyn.”

Harden, Durant, and Irving have played just seven games together since Harden was acquired from Houston. While Harden isn’t concerned, there’s another team demonstrating that it’s not easy to adapt and adjust this late in the season after multiple extended absences. The Nets had better hope that their stars don’t run into similar issues.

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