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James Harden Out for Nets vs. Celtics Because of Hamstring Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 8, 2022

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets announced star James Harden will miss Tuesday's home game against the Boston Celtics because of left hamstring tightness.

The 2017-18 MVP has battled minor ailments throughout this season.

A left knee hyperextension left him unavailable for a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 10. The same left hamstring tightness took him out of the lineup for two straight games—both of which Brooklyn lost—later in the month.

Harden's hamstring has become an issue again in early February.

In general, the 32-year-old has performed below his usual level. He's averaging 22.5 points, 10.2 assists and 8.0 rebounds, but his 33.2 percent three-point clip is on pace to be a career low. He's only making 47.6 percent of his two-point attempts as well, which is his second-lowest rate ever.

Thanks to Harden's performance, Kyrie Irving's part-time status, and Kevin Durant's MCL sprain, the Nets find themselves seventh in the Eastern Conference at 29-24. Brooklyn's situation has reached a point where The Athletic's Shams Charania reported the team was more open to swapping Harden for Ben Simmons ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

Despite all of the setbacks they've encountered, the Nets still might be the favorites in the East if everybody is healthy when the playoffs roll around. But Harden's hamstring troubles and general production are clear warning signs.

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