Michael Scotto: James Harden on playing injured against the Bucks: “It’s basically a grade 2 hamstring strain, so the first possession of Game 1 up until Game 5, that was the first time I did any basketball competition against anybody. I was literally going out there on a limb.”
Malika Andrews: James Harden says that he has been playing through a Grade 2 hamstring strain. The team had been calling it hamstring tightness.
Ajayi Browne: “It’s probably the same — He’s not himself so we’re all proud and admire his sacrifice.” ⁃Steve Nash on James Harden’s progress healing from his hamstring injury.
Of course, the Nets will have their excuses to lean on in the event they are eliminated by the Bucks. Irving’s ankle sprain was a dramatic game-changer in this series, and though Harden looked physically better in Game 6 than he did in Game 5, he still wasn’t half the force he was with two healthy legs. “It’s not even about rust,” Harden said. “It’s about being able to move. … I’m out there to do whatever it takes to win. I’ve got to be better on both sides of the ball, which I will be for Game 7.”
Ajayi Browne: Steve Nash also says, “James (Harden) is not at 100%. He’s got to protect himself — He’s not going to be able to push the ball in transition.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: James Harden will play in Game 5, sources tell ESPN.
Brian Mahoney: James Harden has arrived on the court to warm up.
Brian Lewis: James Harden out on the floor for pregame warmups. #Nets #bucks #nba pic.twitter.com/w4XJInv7MD
Malika Andrews: James Harden is out on the floor warming up with some kinesiology tape on his right hamstring. pic.twitter.com/2lRNYuiYxg
Ajayi Browne: “I don’t have any update.” ⁃Steve Nash on James Harden.
Ajayi Browne: “He wants to play. He wants to win a championship. He loves the playoffs — It’s been really difficult on him.” ⁃Steve Nash on James Harden.
Ajayi Browne: “It’s a tricky situation, but it’s one that we’re willing to go down with James (Harden) — But if he can’t, he can’t.” ⁃Steve Nash on James Harden possibly playing.
Shams Charania: Nets‘ James Harden plans to play tonight in Game 5 vs. Milwaukee barring a setback in pregame warmups, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . He’s been upgraded to questionable.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Nets have upgraded James Harden to doubtful for Game 5.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Harden is expected to test his hamstring in shoot-around today and has been determined to try and find a way to get cleared to play Game 5, sources tell ESPN. There are no guarantees on his status but Harden is trying to play with series 2-2.
Ajayi Browne: “We’ll see — When he’s ready, he and the performance staff will let us know.” ⁃Steve Nash on James Harden being available soon.
He noted James Harden has made "progress" in his recovery from a hamstring injury, but he could also miss the game Tuesday. These injuries are a concern for a Brooklyn team that is in championship-or-bust mode. When one or both of the guards is out, it puts pressure on Kevin Durant to carry the team.
Malika Andrews: James Harden remains out for Game 4 between the Nets and Bucks (Sunday on ABC), Steve Nash says. Harden is "progressing" Nash says. Jeff Green has been upgraded to questionable for Game 4, Nash says.
Marc Stein: The Nets’ James Harden and Jeff Green remain out for Thursday’s Game 3 against Milwaukee, Steve Nash says. Nash adds that he does expect Green to play in this series. Harden’s status still TBD.
Ajayi Browne: Steve Nash says, “Nothing new on James (Harden). Jeff (Green) is progressing well, hopefully he’ll be back soon.”
Kristian Winfield: Joe Harris on James Harden: "He seemed to be in good spirits. He was talking a lot watching film, asking a lot of questions."
Michael Gallagher: Brooklyn Nets Medical Update: James Harden has been diagnosed with right hamstring tightness. He is listed as Out for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Milwaukee. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.
Barbara Barker: "We are obviously desperate for him to return," Steve Nash says of James Harden who has been ruled out of Game 2.
Jordan Schultz: Sources: James Harden is currently undergoing an MRI on the right hamstring injury he suffered. I’m told the #Nets won’t risk long-term health issues with the superstar guard - a key component after the #Lakers drew criticism for playing AD in Game 6.
Malike Andrews: Steve Nash on James Harden: "I'm heartbroken for him." Nash adds he doesn't know whether or not Harden will be available for Game 2. "This guy was so ready and excited to play tonight... You never want to see that when someone gives everything they have."
Michael Scotto: Kevin Durant on James Harden: “Sh*t sucks. It sucks because I want him to be out there. I know how much he cares. I know how much he wants to be in this moment. I wish him a speedy recovery. We're going to keep him involved as much as possible. It's just a bad break." pic.twitter.com/IGsk2KZVse
Brian Lewis: James Harden is cleared to play tonight for the first time since April 5. He will be on a minutes restriction, Steve Nash said. #Nets #NBA #Spurs
Malika Andrews: James Harden is listed as probable for tonight's game against the Spurs. Kyrie Irving is Questionable with a facial contusion. Kevin Durant is available, despite it being the second night of a back-to-back.
Shams Charania: Nets star James Harden plans to play tonight vs. Spurs, assuming pregame warmups go smoothly, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . Harden is on the cusp of his return after missing over one month with a hamstring strain.
After missing five weeks with a hamstring injury, Nets star James Harden's return is expected to be a game-time decision before Brooklyn faces San Antonio on Wednesday night, sources told ESPN. Harden is expected to gauge his readiness along with team officials ahead of the Nets' return to Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday, sources said.
James visited an ankle specialist last week, sources told ESPN, and has made considerable improvement in his on-court workouts without experiencing the "sharp pain" he reported in the losses to the Raptors and Kings. He previously had difficulty making hard cuts and elevating, sources told Wojnarowski.
Alex Schiffer: Steve Nash said he hopes James Harden is able to play in one of the Nets final three regular season games, but there are a lot of factors in play as to if that happens.
Malika Andrews: As @Adrian Wojnarowski reported on SportsCenter, the earliest date that James Harden may return for the Nets is Wednesday against the Spurs — that isn’t a certainty, but Harden is getting close to returning.
But Nash reiterated that James Harden, still rehabbing his right hamstring strain, is nowhere near a return. “James probably is still a ways away,” Nash said. “But he’s working and getting better and improving and moving the right direction, and we’re all positive and optimistic about his long-term outlook. But I think we’ve still got plenty of time before we see him back on the floor.”
Harden, who missed a 13th straight game Friday, hasn’t played since limping off the court April 5 versus the Knicks. There are eight games left in the regular season, and Nash wouldn’t confirm that Harden will be back before the postseason. “I don’t know if I want to forecast an opinion here. I’m not sure that serves any of us. Let me avoid the question and say we’ll see,” Nash said. “I’m not 100 percent certain he will or he won’t. That’s true.
Kristian Winfield: Steve Nash says James Harden is traveling with the team, was shooting this morning and "just started to build up what his capacity is." Nash says there is no high-intensity training yet for Harden.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Harden underwent an MRI, and will be out indefinitely, team says.
Adrian Wojnarowski: James Harden suffered a setback with hamstring, Nets says.
Malika Andrews: James Harden will travel with the team to Miami, Steve Nash said. Harden is traveling because it will aid him in his rehab to workout with the training staff and other players -- he isn't expected to play against the Heat.
Brian Lewis: Steve Nash expects James Harden to be back before Tyler Johnson. And he doesn't think Johnson will takes 2 or 3 weeks, but should return before that. #Nets
Coach Steve Nash said scans on Harden’s hamstring turned up clean and revealed no tear. “He’s doing pretty good. He had a scan and it was clear, so he’s day-to-day. So, we’re excited that it wasn’t worse,” Nash said. “So, big sigh of relief and you know, day-to-day means we will see him probably in the next few games for sure.”
The Nets lost James Harden to a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s 120-108 win over the Rockets, but don’t think it will be a long-term absence. Considering their last star to get hamstrung — Kevin Durant — has missed seven weeks, they’d better hope for a quicker comeback. “We’re gonna monitor it. We’ll see how he feels in the morning,” coach Steve Nash said of Harden. “I don’t have a lot to tell you, but we feel optimistic it’s not a long-term thing and we’ll just monitor it.”
August 2, 2021 | 7:07 am EDT Update
There is a strong possibility that Howard returns for a third go-around with the Lakers. Howard won a title with the Lakers in 2020, but he bolted to the 76ers last season. Now, there appears to be interest on both sides to have Howard back for his physical and defensive play. Howard, 35, averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes last season in Philadelphia, his 17th in the NBA.
Barry Jackson: ESPN reports tonight that New Orleans and Dallas – two Lowry suitors – have begun to look elsewhere for point guards. The Dragic/Achiuwa package should get this done for Lowry barring any late issues; Achiuwa hasn’t yet been informed because talks can’t begin until 6 p.m. Monday.
Donatas Urbonas: Ignas Brazdeikis will play for the Orlando Magic in the NBA Summer League, per sources. Brazdeikis averaged 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2 assists in 8 NBA games with Orlando last season.
Rob Schaefer: Zach LaVine on keeping up with Bulls’ free agency from Tokyo: “I should have a good idea what’s going on. I take that very serious, keep up to date with what’s going on back home, but obviously still get my rest cause we got a game tomorrow. One way or another I’ll find out.”
August 2, 2021 | 1:19 am EDT Update
“It looks like [Kawhi] is expected to re-sign with the Clippers, but sources informed me that he will listen to other teams.” @ChrisBHaynes on Kawhi Leonard’s free agency
Sources tell cleveland.com the Cavs are no longer expected to pursue Los Angeles Lakers free agent guard Alex Caruso or Indiana Pacers pesky reserve TJ McConnell — both of whom will garner interest from several suitors and could command the full mid-level exception, which starts around $9.5 million.
That means the Cavs need to set their sights elsewhere. Sources say they are considering splitting the exception among two players, depending on the target, but would use the full MLE on the right fit. Indiana sharpshooter Doug McDermott will get consideration, sources say. But that will be a battle. Shooters get paid in this league. A source suggested the Cavs would likely have to go an extra guaranteed year to boost their appeal. Let’s call that the “Cleveland tax.”