James Harden quells concern over hamstring
Houston Rockets guard James Harden left the court two minutes into subbing in for Eric Gordon during Wednesday’s 100-89 loss to the Utah Jazz after suffering a hamstring injury. The reigning MVP wouldn’t concern himself or other with the injury, saying it wasn’t anywhere close to the hamstring injury that kept him out several games last year.
“We’re just being cautious,” said James Harden, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Harden missed time early during the 2017-18 season, soon after point guard Chris Paul was bit by the injury bug himself, making their potential backcourt partnership wait a little longer.
While he did play 32 minutes and posted a strong stat line, the Rockets will monitor this situation and feel out how the risk and reward of playing him on Friday on a home runback agains the L.A. Clippers.
Houston is 1-3 so far through this season and 0-2 without Paul, as he served his two-game suspension after his fight with Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo on Saturday.
The Rockets have dearly missed Paul’s defense through this initial stretch and are now in danger of missing Harden’s scoring and playmaking ability if he misses time.
After entering the game five minutes into the fourth quarter, Harden turned to the Rockets’ bench and asked for a timeout after his team had come back from down as much as 16 to within five points of the Jazz. The Beard had dropped in a short jumper and tossed a long pass to Clint Capela before exiting two minutes after checking into the scores table with tightness in his left hamstring.
Despite the early-season woes and only a 1-3 record to show, head coach Mike D’Antoni remained confident.
“We have to hang in there a little bit,” D’Antoni said, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “We have some pains, some growing pains right now, but we’ll be fine.
“We’re going to do this. This team is going to be good. It’s going to be really good.”