James harden will be absent for Game 3 of the Nets series against the Bucks, tweets Adam Zagoria from the New York Times. Head coach Steve Nash, speaking to the media, made it clear that Harden and the forward Jeff Green will miss at least one more game, although he added that it is “very possible” for Green to play sooner rather than later.
Harden played just 43 seconds of the Nets second round playoff series against Milwaukee after leaving Game 1 with hamstring strain. The Nets won the first two games of the series convincingly without him, which could give them more leeway to take the recovery process slowly with their star shooting guard. Nash said Harden and Green continue to move forward, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
With Harden out, the Nets turned to the guards Bruce brown and Mike James, with Brown taking a large chunk of the available on-call minutes. Brown responded well to securing the starting title in Game 2, scoring 13 points, six rebounds and four assists without a turnaround while also proving very effective as a small ball runner / rim runner. James scored in double digits in both contests.
The Bucks were clearly hoping to take advantage of Harden’s absence, but that didn’t prove the case in Game 2, as the Nets claimed a 39-point victory. Kevin Durant scored 32 points on 12-18 shots as none of the Bucks’ three stars could find much rhythm offensively.
With the next two games in Milwaukee and no clear timeline for Harden’s return, Game 3 will be crucial if the Bucks have any hope of returning to this series.