James Harden‘s debut with the Clippers was spoiled by the Knicks, who pulled out a 111-97 win on Monday in New York. But Harden said after the game that he sees “unlimited possibilities” for what he, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook can do together, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
Harden, who admitted that he felt “kind of weird out there” playing in his first game since the spring after not having a training camp with his new team, scored 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting and handed out six assists in 31 minutes of action.
As Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports writes, it looks like Harden will defer primary play-making duties to Westbrook to open games, then sub out early before returning to spearhead the team’s second unit. Despite Monday’s loss, head coach Tyronn Lue was pleased with what he saw from his club’s newest guard.
“He did a good job his first game in a while,” Leonard said, per Youngmisuk. “And it takes time to get his legs under him as far as conditioning. But he did a great job to me, got everybody involved running pick-and-roll very well.”
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- Clippers reserve center Mason Plumlee had to be carried off the court by a pair of team staffers following a collision with Julius Randle on Monday, Youngmisuk notes. The original diagnosis for Plumlee is a left knee sprain, but he’ll undergo further evaluation on Tuesday before the team officially announces a recovery timeline.
- Lakers big man Anthony Davis dealt with spasms in his left hip on Monday and had to leave the team’s loss to Miami late in the first half. However, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes, Davis said he’s “very optimistic” that the hip issue won’t force him to miss additional time. “Everything’s going to be fine,” Davis said. “I’ll be ready to go for Wednesday, for sure.”
- Although he’s getting a three-year deal and a spot on the Warriors‘ standard roster, forward Gui Santos is expected to continue spending much of his time in the G League with Santa Cruz, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN, who says Santos will split his team between the NBA and NBAGL squads.