For much of the 2021 NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets have been among the favorites to win the overall championship. It’s been a solid campaign for coach Steve Nash’s side and the Nets currently remain on course to land their first ever NBA pennant.
If the franchise is to claim the ultimate prize, they may have to do so without their key player. Injury has been a part of James Harden’s overall campaign and a latest setback could leave the influential guard facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
How’s Your Luck?
As the playoffs reached the Conference Semi Finals stage, James Harden left the court in less than a minute of their opening win over Milwaukee Bucks, The 31 year old had suffered a hamstring injury and, at this stage, it’s still unclear as to whether Harden has any chance of returning during the finals series.
The Nets are being fairly cagey about a potential return and we know very little about the magnitude of the problem. It was confirmed that the player felt a ‘tight’ hamstring and that’s about all that’s been disclosed. It’s easy to read things into this approach by the Brooklyn franchise: If Harden is set to miss the rest of the series, it could inspire the Bucks to know that one of their biggest threats will not be entering the court.
Time will tell but James Harden has definitely missed game two of the semis so could his absence derail the Nets’ chances?
Nets’ Chances Assessed
James Harden’s injury has done little to affect the Nets’ chances of success, at least as far as the neutral pundits are concerned. The sportsbooks can often be very good judges and sports betting sites in the Philippines, as quoted by asiabet, continue to show Brooklyn as clear favourites for the NBA Championship.
Behind the market leaders, there is a significant gap to the Milwaukee Bucks in second place, followed by the LA Clippers, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns. At this advanced stage of the postseason, there is little scope for those markets to move but asiabet will continue to report upon and update the odds as they change.
Anyone who is interested in this area can also find a range of sportsbooks with offers and promotions in place. Helping readers to make a decision is the section providing news updates and opinion pieces on the NBA. It’s a comprehensive portal but are those sportsbooks right to point us in the direction of the Brooklyn Nets?
Can they pull it off?
Brooklyn have been consistent throughout their 2021 campaign and, while James Harden has played a crucial part, they are far from being a one-man team. Remember, while the Nets lost their influential player in game one of the semis, they still managed to overcome Milwaukee despite playing without Harden for all but the first 43 seconds.
It’s also obvious that Brooklyn not only won game two, they absolutely demolished the Bucks on the way to a 125-86 victory. No Harden, no problem – or so it would seem.
It’s not the first time that the guard has been injured in 2021 and the Nets still climbed high in the East. However, it’s undoubtedly a blow to the team’s hopes and it means that others in the roster will have to step up.
Fans and neutrals alike will often point to Brooklyn and talk about the ‘big three’. James Harden is very much a part of that important triumvirate but that leaves Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant for opponents to contend with.
Irving and Durant don’t need to ‘step up’: They’re already at the peak of their powers and both men were instrumental in that heavy win over the Bucks in game two. Durant landed 32 of those 125 points while he, and Irving, both contributed six assists.
Losing a star player can sometimes have a detrimental effect on any side but, on other occasions, it can inspire those who are left. If James Harden can return this season, the Brooklyn Nets look to have the finals series sewn up but, based on that performance in game two of the Conference semis, there’s enough talent within the roster to compensate for his absence.