As we relayed on Sunday, All-Star guard James Harden will be unavailable on Monday night for Game 2 of Brooklyn’s series vs. Milwaukee. However, the Nets proved in Game 1 that they’re capable of beating the Bucks even without Harden, as Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. Head coach Steve Nash believes all the injuries Brooklyn dealt with during the season helped prepare the team for such a scenario in the playoffs.
“We’ve had a lot thrown at us this year, so we were in a sense well-trained for this event,” Nash said. “But you never want to see someone like James who is such an important player, such an incredible player and cares so much. I’m heartbroken for him.”
As the Nets wait to see whether Harden might be able to return for Game 3, here are a few more notes from out of Brooklyn:
- Jeff Green (left plantar fascia strain) has also been ruled out for Game 2, but Nash said that the injured forward is “progressing nicely” and may not be out much longer, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “I think we’ll see him in the series, and hopefully, it’s Game 3,” Nash said. “But who knows?”
- According to Lewis, Nash also suggested this weekend that it still looks unlikely that Spencer Dinwiddie, who is recovering from ACL surgery, will be able to return during the playoffs. “He’s not with the team. I believe he’s rehabbing in L.A. and is doing very well,” Nash said of Dinwiddie. “(But) I’ve had no conversations about him returning to the team or even returning to play at this point.”
- Mike James, who didn’t expect to play more than about five minutes in Game 1, came up big in the absence of Harden, as we detailed on Sunday. The Nets will need to continue leaning on the reserve guard until Harden is ready to return, as Paul Schwartz of The New York Post writes. “Obviously James has something going on,” James said. “So I’m basically the other point guard besides Kyrie (Irving), so I’ve got to be ready to play at least a little bit. Who knows if it’s gonna be 30 minutes again, but I’ve got to be ready to go out there and lead the team in some capacity, and be ready to contribute.”