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Nets: James Harden suffers setback with hamstring injury, might not return until playoffs

Nets star James Harden out with injury

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 18: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets stands on the sidelines during the game against the Miami Heat on April 18, 2021 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have played just seven games together.

That number might not increase before the playoffs, as Harden suffered a setback with his hamstring injury (and Durant remains sidelined with a thigh injury).


Nets coach Steve Nash, via SNY:

The playoffs are scheduled to begin May 22 – just more than a month from now. Nash didn’t say Harden would miss that much time. But Nash ought to realizing even raising the possibility raises eyebrows.

If Harden is sidelined that long, it could be a major problem.

Brooklyn’s talent offers a championship upside. The Nets have shown glimpses of elite play.

But questions remain about how Durant, Harden and Irving will fit together. It’d be nice if they had more opportunity to develop chemistry.

This setback could also leave Harden little time to return to form before the postseason.

The Nets (38-19, three games up for second in the East) have some margin for error. Brooklyn needn’t be peaking to win a first-round series.

But a potential matchup with the championship-contending Bucks could loom in the second round. That’s likely the absolute deadline for the Nets to get healthy and cohesive.

Unfortunately, they keep sliding the wrong direction.