James Harden won’t play on Tuesday but Nets coach Steve Nash is optimistic the star guard will see action in at least one regular season game heading into the postseason, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. Harden has missed 18 games due to a hamstring strain.
“He is putting in his consecutive high-intensity work modes, he has responded and so it’s all positive,” Nash said. “We can’t commit to anything right now because we’re not committed to anything … but definitely possible that he plays one or more of these next four games.”
We have more on the Nets:
- Brooklyn will likely be either the No. 2 or 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs but its seeding is not a high priority for Nash, Dunleavy relays in a separate story. “I think the No. 1 thought and priority as a staff is health over seeding,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean we’re 1,000 percent in on health over seeding.”
- Since joining the Nets as a buyout-market addition, Blake Griffin has settled in with the club, producing a 20-point game against Denver this weekend. Kyrie Irving believes Griffin will be a big key in the postseason, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “That’s what we need Blake to be in terms of being out there, being an option for us, being a playmaker,” Irving said. “His game has evolved. We understand that he’s going to play a different style with us out there, and that’s going to complement when he figures that role out.”
- Owner Joe Tsai is seeking out new corporate partnerships to raise money, including a jersey patch sponsor, Lewis and Josh Kosman of the Post report. A name change for the Barclays Center could be in the works as well, as the franchise could get $15-20MM annually for the naming rights to the arena. Barclays Center owes more than $500MM in debt, the Post duo adds.