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Harden out at least 10 days with hamstring strain; Durant return probable Wednesday

Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson agree that the NBA MVP race is wide open at midseason, but Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo are current frontrunners.

One star in, one star out for the Brooklyn Nets... someday their big three will play more than seven games together. Probably.

Now it is James Harden on the shelf. He injured his hamstring against the Knicks, and he is going to be re-evaluated in 10 days, the team announced.

Hamstring injuries are difficult to put a timeline on because they can linger and because players need to make sure the injury is completely healed before trying explosive cutting/jumping moves with it, or they risk re-injuring the muscle and making things worse. The Nets are thinking deep playoff run and — while want need to get Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant time together on the court before the playoffs — will need 100% Harden for that run.

The good news is that Durant is expected to return from his hamstring issue on Wednesday against the Pelicans.

Before Durant missed 23 games with his injury, he played at an MVP level, averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists a game, while shooting 43.4% from three, and with a true shooting percentage of 65.2. He looked like he had not lost a step coming off his torn Achilles, and if that is the Durant back on the court for Brooklyn in the playoffs it should be the favorite to come out of the East.

Especially if the Nets can get Harden and Irving healthy with him at the same time.