James Harden is known for overselling contact at the rim. Is he also overselling the extent of an eye injury that apparently made everything fuzzy?
The Houston guard went down hard midway through the first quarter of Game 2 of the Western Conference semis on Tuesday night after he and Green got tangled going for a rebound. Replays showed that Green had accidentally poked Harden in the eye, and Harden had to go back to the locker room for evaluation.
He eventually returned to action, but he did not seem 100%. There was a noticeable red mark on his eye and he was seen shielding his eyes from the bright arena lights.
Still, some think Harden's eye troubles were a bit of an act, notably some of the Warriors players who shared the court with him Tuesday night.
“There are a few players in the [Warriors] locker room that aren’t buying the whole James Harden’s eye being extremely hurt,” noted Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “They were talking about some of the shots he was shooting during the game and then he gets to the free throw line and is squinting like he can’t see.”
There is no way to say for certain, of course, but we can't necessarily rule it out. It would make sense for Harden to exaggerate his injury if he was looking for some slack from the critics and maybe even some sympathy calls from the refs.
For now, let us just hope his eye is okay for Game 3 because Houston will need him at his peak if they are to get back in this series.