James Harden will be out for Game Three of the Nets series against the Bucks, tweets Adam Zagoria of NY Times Sports. Head coach Steve Nash, addressing the media, made it clear that both Harden and forward Jeff Green will miss at least another game, though he added that it’s “highly possible” that Green plays sooner rather than later.
Harden has played just 43 seconds of the Nets’ second round playoff series against Milwaukee after leaving Game One with right hamstring tightness. The Nets have won the first two games of the series in convincing fashion without him, which could give them more leeway to take the recovery process slowly with their star shooting guard. Nash stated that both Harden and Green continue to make progress, according to a tweet from Malika Andrews of ESPN.
With Harden out, the Nets have turned to guards Bruce Brown and Mike James, with Brown taking much of the available guard minutes. Brown responded well to getting the starting nod in Game Two, putting up 13 points, six rebounds and four assists with no turnovers while also proving quite effective as a small-ball roll man/rim runner. James has scored in double digits in both contests.
The Bucks had clearly hoped to take advantage of Harden’s absence, but that didn’t prove the case in Game Two, as the Nets cruised to a 39-point victory. Kevin Durant scored 32 points on 12-18 shooting while none of the Bucks’ three stars could find much of a rhythm offensively.
With the next two games being held in Milwaukee and no clear timetable for Harden’s return, Game Three will be crucial if the Bucks have any hope of climbing back into this series.