Coming into today, James Harden wasn’t expected to take the court for tonight’s Game-5 matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks. But, after getting upgraded to “questionable” earlier this afternoon, the Nets All Star was cleared to play right before game time tonight.
After tipoff, it became readily apparent that Harden wasn’t even close to 100%.
Clearly struggling to move on his nagging hamstring injury, the superstar shooting guard has essentially been a non-factor so far in the first half — leading many to wonder if bringing Harden back for tonight’s game was a mistake.
Fans from around the NBA world are taking to Twitter to react to his rushed recovery.
3 quarters left but right now it looks like letting Harden play was a massive mistake.
He can’t move, and clearly isn’t ready.
Plus, it seems like having Harden out there took away some of the aggression we were gonna get from KD.
All bad for BK.
— nick wright (@getnickwright) June 16, 2021
Harden out there walking and skipping! He’s not moving well at all. SMH. Carry on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) June 16, 2021
— Bron 6 is back!!!!! ➐ (@bron_back) June 16, 2021
“James Harden clearly still hurt”
— Jay Shah (@TheJayShah3) June 16, 2021
how harden is moving out there right now pic.twitter.com/PFgpDl5clU
— buckets (@buckets) June 16, 2021
This hamstring injury has been a long time coming for Harden. After straining his right hamstring in the regular season, the Brooklyn All Star missed 18 straight contests. He re-aggravated that injury in Game 1 of this series and has been out ever since.
In his absence, the Bucks were able to claim two straight victories and tie the series up at two games apiece.
So far, it’s looking like Harden is absent again. “The Beard” has yet to score a single point through 21 minutes of play in the first half.
Heading into the locker room, Milwaukee leads 59-43 — positioning them to take a 3-2 series if they hold out in the second half.