James Harden has struggled for the Brooklyn Nets at times this year. His finishing touch may be starting to decline with age. He might also just be missing the right kind of big man.
Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post pointed out something very interesting. The eventual return of big man Nic Claxton might be just what the doctor ordered for Harden’s game. He’s returned to the Nets on Friday after a lengthy illness. Harden really likes Claxton’s upside.
“Claxton reminds me of Clint but more skilled. The sky is the limit for him.”
It’s been a battle for him to get back into shape. He only played three minutes in the victory over Minnesota. He didn’t attempt a shot in the game.
Once he’s back to full strength, though, Harden stands to benefit more than any player on the team from his return. Harden tends to force more bad shots when he doesn’t have a man underneath to lob it to. He’s more effective when he has someone to set up for alley oops.
Despite Harden’s struggles and despite Kyrie Irving sitting out because he refuses to take the COVID vaccine, the Nets are at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Sitting at 16-7, they are a lock for the playoffs if they keep it up. Adding Nic Claxton to the lineup may elevate Harden’s struggling game. If it does, the Brooklyn Nets could be the team to beat out of the east.
Do you think Nic Claxton can lift James Harden’s game? Let us know in the comments!