More shooting, passing? It’s Harden’s dilemma with the nets

After the Nets lost to the Blazing Suns on Saturday night, James Harden admitted he’d recently had some trouble deciding whether he’d be more than a passerby and, without naming Keri Irving, hinted at his absence due to his refusal to comply with the New York City vaccine mandate as a source of his hesitation about what the Nets need. from him.

Harden’s scoring average has dropped from 24.6 points last season to 20.3 points this season, but after averaging 28.4 points over one five-game period, he’s dropped again to 15.3 over the three games before facing the Knicks on Tuesday night at Barclays Center.

Asked what he wanted Harden to emphasize, Nets coach Steve Nash said, “I always want James to attack and put pressure on defense. If he ends up with a shot more than once, that’s great. If he ends up with a pass more than once. No, great.” Also. I don’t necessarily want to categorize him – ‘You have to score, you have to play.’ I want him to be aggressive, to be himself and to play… I think he’s clearly heading in the right direction now for a month.”

Durant minutes are piling up

Due to Irving’s absence and the recent sufferings of Joe Harris and Harden, Kevin Durant was recently called in to take on an even greater burden. He’s averaging 35.6 minutes per game this season but has played at least 37 in four consecutive games, including a 44:50 loss for the Suns.

“It’s not ideal for him to carry such a burden, but I don’t know what options we have but to play it less and lose more,” Nash said. “He’s a great player, and we’re great players [Irving] And a really good player [Harris] And a few others. So I don’t know if we have the luxury now…. He will have a lot of responsibility. This is how it is.”

Griffin expected it to be off the job, not the rotation

On Monday, quarterback Blake Griffin admitted he expects to be replaced as a starting hotshot by LaMarcus Aldridge, but said he was surprised to be completely out of the playing cycle. “Los Angeles is playing unbelievably,” Griffin said. “Being completely out of the game, though, I wasn’t necessarily expecting that. As players, it’s our job to do what coaches think best, so at this point, that’s what it is.”

Before the Knicks game, Nash compared Griffin’s position to that of Nets veteran Kemba Walker, who also recently fell out of a rotation role.

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