James Harden Reveals Severity of Hamstring Injury After Nets' Game 7 Loss

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2021

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden, who has been out with a hamstring injury, takes the ball from a trainer while warming up before Game 5 of the team's second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets star James Harden revealed that he played through a Grade 2 hamstring strain during the final three games of the Eastern Conference semifinals. 

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis

James Harden said he had a Grade 2 hamstring. He essentially didnt do anything on it before Game 5

Matt Brooks @MattBrooksNBA

James Harden is feeling "like shit." "So many emotions. It's frustrating for myself being durable and being myself for the last so many postseasons and just dealing with this particular hamstring — it's just frustrating."

A hamstring strain previously limited the 31-year-old toward the end of the regular season, forcing him to miss all but three of the team's final 24 games.

The 2017-18 MVP was on the floor to open the playoffs and appeared in all five of the Nets' first-round games against the Boston Celtics. However, he exited Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks after just 43 seconds.

He then returned for Brooklyn's Game 5 win, albeit in a much more limited fashion. 

The Nets looked like the team to beat in the East after they steamrolled the Celtics, but the injuries to Harden and Kyrie Irving illustrated the dangers of overwhelmingly orienting a roster around a small number of stars. 

Harden gave it his all, though, playing 53 minutes in Brooklyn's Game 7 overtime loss on Saturday night. He finished with 22 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and four turnovers as Milwaukee advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. 


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