After a grueling loss to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, a dejected James Harden spoke to the media, where he admitted a sense of uncertainty about how to adjust to life without Kyrie Irving.
Here's what he said:
“Honestly I’m trying to figure all that out right now,” Harden admitted, via Clutch Points. “I’m trying to figure it out. Trying to figure out when to score, when to be a playmaker when to run offense, when to do a little bit of everything. Just trying to figure it out it’s been a little difficult especially since you know, well whatever, but it’s been a little difficult but I’m just trying to figure it out.”
Harden has not been himself this season, down to an average of 20.7 points on 41% shooting so far. Whether it's the rule change, the scenery change, or simply a rough stretch, his struggles have not helped smooth things over in Kyrie's absence.
When asked about whether Harden should play more of a scoring or playmaking role, Durant offered his own perspective:
“I just think we can do both,” explained Durant. "He heard some MVP chants from the crowd during a late run in the fourth also. “I mean we can play around both variations of James. Scoring and facilitating. And [Harden had] 14 assists 13 rebounds, we gonna need that. [Harden] definitely would wanna shoot the ball better, but I like his aggressiveness.”
Needless to say, it's still too early for panic in Brooklyn, as the Nets sit at the top of the standings in the East.
But their loss against Phoenix marks another loss against a title-contending team, perhaps signaling that the KD-led squad is not yet on par with the NBA's top teams.
Whatever the case, things are getting dicey in Brooklyn, and not even James Harden really knows how to respond.