Harden says this is unfamiliar territory for him coming back from a significant injury and having to be patient with his offense. “My career, I’ve been blessed,” Harden said. “Just not having surgeries or whatnot. So just this whole process last year was just like frustrating and draining. … It was draining for me to know that I couldn’t be myself and be out there on the floor and be the player that I am [at the end of last season]. “But I’m finally slowly getting back to it. It just takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But it’s gonna happen. But you got to just continue to keep fighting, and I will.”
November 28, 2021 | 12:08 am EST Update
Noah Levick: Joel Embiid on having COVID-19: “I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was that bad.” Embiid said his first workout was a couple days ago and it’s a “miracle” he played 45 minutes tonight.
Dane Moore: Karl-Anthony Towns acknowledging postgame that he and Joel Embiid have their history, but he wanted to make it a point to say he is very happy to see Embiid back and healthy from COVID. “That’s bigger than basketball… I’ve seen people die from that.”
Kyle Neubeck: Embiid said tonight’s loss was on him and that the layoff wasn’t an excuse for not executing in crunch time. When Maxey was asked about what happened on his last turnover, Embiid interrupted him to say he was supposed to roll harder and that he made Maxey’s pass more difficult pic.twitter.com/7O45sonBiF
Mike Lynch: Embiid is now 0-14 on potential go-ahead shots in the final 5 seconds of 4th quarter or OT (including playoffs). That’s the most attempts w/o a make by anyone since 1996-97. Kukoc is 2nd on list but had several makes pre-96 https://t.co/1sxiecHEBP pic.twitter.com/xQ1PK67eO6
But when the Timberwolves needed a defensive stop down one in their 121-120 double overtime victory over Philadelphia, the Wolves weren’t taking Russell off the floor. He delivered with a steal that led to the winning bucket from Taurean Prince with 4.8 seconds remaining in the second overtime. “Criticism, I try to stay away from it,” Russell said. “My boys criticize me more than media.” His boys were singing his praises after Saturday. “That’s probably one of the best D’Angelo Russell performances I’ve ever seen,” Towns said. “I’ve seen him get 50 against us, but the difference between this game and that game … is the defense he played as well as the offense he gave us.”
“I would put it simply: Jayson and Jaylen’s ability to make other players better [is crucial],” a Western Conference scout said, when asked for what the key will be for Boston to return to championship contention. “If they can’t get that third guy, they have to make other players better, and they haven’t shown the ability to do that yet.”