James Harden will accompany the Nets on their three-game road trip that begins Sunday in Miami, but the MVP candidate still isn’t ready to return from his hamstring injury.
Asked on Saturday if Harden is traveling due to a need for workout partners or because he’s close to seeing game action, Nets coach Steve Nash responded: “I think heavy to the first part, that he needs to play and there’s no one to play with back here [in Brooklyn]. So, to get him his workouts that are necessary is the first step and to do that he has to travel.”
Harden has a Grade 1 hamstring strain, and missed a fifth straight game Friday against the Hornets. He hasn’t played since a four-minute stint April 5 in a win over the Knicks, but he has worked out the past three days.
Nets forward Blake Griffin has been impressed by how fluid Kevin Durant has looked after missing nearly two months with a hamstring injury. Durant is averaging 23.8 points in 25 minutes per game over four appearances.
“He’s been great. I think I said this after his first game back, but just his patience is pretty unbelievable, especially for a guy who can score at will from all three levels [on the court],” Griffin said. “His patience and his ability to read the game and get guys going and then pick his spots has been great.
“When I first got here I was working out with him every day… don’t think I’ve ever seen him look like he’s out of rhythm, so it’s not surprising that he came back the way he has. He’s just one of those guys, man. He’s in a league of his own when it comes to scoring and rhythm and all that.”
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