Nets prepped for conflict vs. Sixers, outdated good friend James Harden – The Brooklyn Game
Is Thursday the beginning of a rivalry? If you ask the Nets, then the reply can be no, however Brooklyn’s first journey to Philadelphia to see the 76ers comes amid loads of anticipation.
Benn Simmons is making his return to the City of Brotherly Love, however the Nets will even see former teammate James Harden for the primary time because the blockbuster deal between the Eastern Conference rivals on the deadline. The departure of each Simmons from Philly and Harden from Brooklyn continues to be contemporary in everybody’s thoughts.
Harden grew to become disenchanted in Brooklyn as accidents mounted and Kyrie Irving’s unvaccinated grew to become a bigger situation that would impression the group within the playoffs. The Nets have publicly tried to stay even-keeled when it got here to the circumstances that led to Harden’s eventual departure.
[READ: Ben Simmons to make Philly return]
“You try to look at it from his perspective,” Kevin Durant mentioned. “You search for and (Kyrie Irving) isn’t enjoying after which I’m injured. He hasn’t received a championship earlier than, so he’s taking a look at it. He’s 32 years outdated, he’s taking a look at himself and desirous to decide to get on a group that may get him to that contending, being the final group standing. You take a look at it from his perspective and also you say it’s what it’s.
“You can’t really control how somebody feels when you think about it like that. Hopefully, stay healthy and their team stay healthy and we stay healthy, and we have a great year. They have a great year and we can just move on from this.”
Brooklyn’s different celebrity and one of many causes that will have impacted Harden’s transfer additionally indicated that he didn’t maintain any ill-will in the direction of his former teammate.
“I thought we were in a good swing, but everybody has their own visions starting off seasons,” Irving mentioned. “Everybody has their own visions starting off their careers and ending their careers. If that’s what James wanted, then I respect his decision and that’s just what it is. I wish him nothing but peace and love. We have a great friendship, but it didn’t work out. I wish things could have been communicated better for all of us as men, but hey, no hard feelings here with me or anyone else.”
Harden has returned to the shape that the Nets had hoped to get from him when he was nonetheless in Brooklyn. Through 5 video games with the Sixers, he has averaged 24.6 factors in 36.8 minutes of labor.
The rejuvenated Harden has put up 12.4 assists and seven.6 rebounds as effectively in that point. And retaining him off the road will probably be essential on Thursday in Philly.
“Well it’s one of the many (points of emphasis) guarding him,” Nets coach Steve Nash mentioned. “Obviously he can score three, get to the line as well as getting to the rim. He’s a good playmaker. … He can beat you in many ways.”
Aske if Nash had deliberate to talk with Harden, the Nets coach instructed reporters he doesn’t normally speak to opposing gamers.
The ambiance in Philadelphia is anticipated to be extraordinarily hostile with Simmons making his return to the Wells Fargo Center. Still, the Nets aren’t making an attempt to feed into the hype.
“It’s fun,” Irving mentioned in regards to the ambiance. “It’s enjoyable. It makes for good tales, it makes for good narratives. It makes for good buildup for our league. It’s by no means too private, however we perceive that as rivals, we wish to win the sport. So go in there with a resolve, with a spotlight and simply prepared for no matter. We know the Philly crowd’s going to be what it’s.
“Everybody likes to build that up, but specifically for us it’s not about any individual matchups. It’s about us going in there and just being a great team and building on what we set out to do.”