Superstar scorers know what it takes for fellow superstars to get out of a slump - it takes one to know one. After his breakout performance, James Harden he credited a former All-Star and scorer in lighting a fire inside him.
James Harden back to his old self in win against New York
Harden chose an excellent time to have a breakout game with a near triple-double performance against rival New York Knicks. He had 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists in the 112-110 victory in Barclays Center. The Beard has faced scrutiny in the past four games, especially against West powerhouse Phoenix Suns where he only made 4-of-15 shots on the field to go with seven turnovers.
In the post-game interview, Harden was asked if his talk with Reggie Miller before their game had anything to do with his performance.
“Yeah, it was definitely that. Reggie is the one that got me going. He’s got me going for sure. But yeah, it was just ultimate confidence, the best-player-in-the-league type of mindset. That was motivation before the game, something I needed.”
James Harden, postgame
Apparently, Miller talked to Harden and reminded him that he’s a former MVP in the league. That score-first mentality took a backseat in Brooklyn this season. With Kyrie Irving out, James had to wear his point guard hat most of the time, which affected his scoring. Whatever Reggie told Harden, it definitely worked.
Nets need Harden to score to become a great team
Steve Nash’s comments that the team needs Kevin Durant to play long minutes or else risk losing is slightly alarming. KD being stretched to the limits also means risking him getting injured.
The roster was built so that anyone could impact the game at any point of the season. Aside from Harden, there’s Patty Mills, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Paul Millsap to help. Among them, only James Harden won an MVP. For everyone to become a better version of themselves, the change should start with KD and Harden as the team’s superstars. Harden needs to be MVP Harden again so that Brooklyn does not have to rely too much on their other MVP - Kevin Durant.
In the grand scheme of things, those are good problems to have.