The Brooklyn Nets shall be on the lookout for their 10th win of their final 11 video games on Wednesday. The Houston Rockets shall be trying to snap a 12-game dropping streak. The sport’s main storyline, although, will come right down to only one participant.
James Harden — and his return to Houston.
Harden, the nine-time All-Star whom the Nets acquired on January 14 in a mega four-team commerce, had a messy breakup with the Rockets earlier than his departure. Wednesday evening’s recreation at Toyota Heart will current his first time dealing with his former workforce because the deal.
Forward of the extremely anticipated matchup, Nets star Kyrie Irving made certain to difficulty one thing of a warning to the Rockets.
Kyrie Irving Doesn’t Maintain Again
After Brooklyn’s 124-113 extra time win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, Irving didn’t mince phrases when requested if there shall be any further emotion for Harden’s return in Houston.
“There shall be no rigidity and no s***-talking occurring the court docket or about James in my presence or anyone else’s presence,” Irving stated, per Brian Lewis of the New York Submit. “We’re coming to Houston to benefit from the recreation of basketball.”
I requested Kyrie on if there shall be any further emotion for Harden’s return to Houston: “There shall be no rigidity and no sh1t-talking occurring the court docket or about James in my presence or anyone else’s presence. We’re coming to Houston to benefit from the recreation of basketball.” #Nets #Rockets
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) March 2, 2021
Nonetheless, it’s exhausting to think about there received’t be some emotion on the court docket contemplating how lengthy Harden spent in Houston — and the way issues ended between him and the Rockets.
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Harden’s Time With Rockets Didn’t Finish Properly
Harden first requested a commerce by the Rockets within the offseason. Then he was absent for the start of coaching camp whereas attending occasions in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Then, a few days earlier than being dealt from the Rockets to the Nets, he had this to say after a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers:
“We’re not even shut, truthfully, to that workforce (the Lakers) — clearly the defending champions — and all the opposite elite groups on the market. You’ll be able to inform the distinction in these final two video games.
“We’re simply not ok. Clearly chemistry, talent-wise, simply… every thing. It was clear. They’re a veteran workforce, a championship workforce, probably the greatest groups that we now have on this league.
“I really like this metropolis. I’ve actually accomplished every thing I can. This example is loopy. It’s one thing that — I don’t assume it may be mounted.”
James Harden: We’re not even shut, truthfully, to that workforce, the clearly the defending champions, and to all the opposite elite groups on the market. I imply, you possibly can inform the distinction these final two video games.” pic.twitter.com/l6WDfBrtNS
— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) January 13, 2021
Harden later expressed remorse over how the scenario unfolded to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview in late February.
“The drama, the additional no matter you wish to name it, the negativity, for me I don’t actually like detrimental vitality, it’s draining,” Harden stated. “I don’t like the way it essentially occurred, I really feel prefer it may’ve occurred quite a bit smoother, simpler, however it’s what it’s.”
Harden in MVP Mode
The place he used “draining” to explain the top of his tenure in Houston, Harden in his interview with Nichols stated it was “relieving” to land in Brooklyn the place he has co-stars in Kevin Durant and Irving.
Harden, in spite of everything, is taking part in at an MVP-caliber degree for the Nets. On Monday in opposition to the Spurs he turned the primary participant in 44 years to have 30-plus factors, 15-plus assists, 10-plus rebounds and nil turnovers in a recreation.
James Harden is the primary participant to place up 30+ PTS, 10+ REB, 15+ AST with zero turnovers in a recreation since 1977-78. pic.twitter.com/kSrdtIP3af
— NBA Historical past (@NBAHistory) March 2, 2021
James Harden posts ANOTHER triple-double & joins @Grady after the Nets win 124-113 in OT over the Spurs. pic.twitter.com/TMla0mk4IR
— YES Community (@YESNetwork) March 2, 2021
It was Harden’s seventh triple-double in 22 video games as a Internet. How outstanding is that? It’s already the second-most triple-doubles in franchise historical past. Solely Jason Kidd (61) has extra, per StatMuse.
“I believe we bought to implement the phrase, ‘Get used to it,’” Irving stated of Harden’s seemingly nightly triple-doubles.
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