James Harden's 2nd game with Brooklyn less than stunning
The were looking strong for a lot of the game but Cleveland, who isn't even a top-tier team (yet) decimated the Nets towards the end of the game. The Net's defense looked horrible, and Harden is a part of the problem in that realm
21 points would be considered great for just about any other player but for Harden, this is not a fantastic performance by any means, especially when you consider that he played nearly every single minute of the game including both overtimes where in the second OT the Nets were outscored 20-8.
After Harden's opening game vs Oklahoma City, where he scored a triple-double, people were thinking that he was just going to be electric in every single game. As I have mentioned before this trade, which has guaranteed Brooklyn a tough five year stint if he doesn't pan out, is an "all-in" situation for the Nets who now have very limited drafting capabilities until 2026.
Harden has been abysmal with his shot percentages
How many guys can you think of in the NBA that are paid over 20 million dollars a year should be missing 3 layups in a single game? I would suggest that none of them should. He put up some solid assist numbers, which is probably him simply trying to not look as though he isn't going to be a team player the way it was perceived when he was in his later stages in Houston, but he also turned the ball over 5 times one of which happened in the 2nd OT where it was absolutely crucial that he not do so.
In their 146-135 double overtime loss vs Cleveland his performance should be very worrisome for the Brooklyn upper management if this is a sign of things to come. I know that anyone can have a bad game but a thing to consider here that I don't think enough people are looking at is that Cleveland isn't even a good team. What is going to happen when Brooklyn has to play the Celtics? Or even when they face Cleveland again on Friday and then Miami the following day?
I said right from the start of all of this that while Brooklyn is going to be explosive on offense, you don't get to win games just by having 3 guys that can rain down threes better than most anyone else in the game. You gotta win in your own paint as well. Tonight the Nets showed that they really are going to have work on that - otherwise "The Beard" and his pals Durant and Irving, are going to be less and less of "show stoppers" as time goes by. It is going to be a frustrating season for Nets fans unless they can figure something out on the defensive end.
Harden missed more shots than he made while playing (other than his free throws, where he was 6-6) and also racked up 5 personal fouls.
Let's see what happens Friday but if this game is a sign of things to come, I think Brooklyn is in a lot of trouble.