James Harden sprints forward with Brooklyn Nets Superteam offense. Photo by Cary Edmondson, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

NBA: James Harden and Brooklyn Nets cause massive disruptions for Los Angeles Lakers

This season, Harden even gives his game an upgrade by passing the ball more often, thus making him an even more dangerous player to guard against. 
Gerald P. Grana | Feb 21 2021

James Harden is undoubtedly one of the best guards in the NBA, averaging at least 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. He averages 51.2% from the field and 85.9% from the free throw line. He is the NBA's all-time leader in 50 point triple-doubles. He recorded the first 60 point triple-double in NBA history in 2018 against the Orlando Magic. He scored 60 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.

The guy is one of the most feared guards in the NBA because he can literally shoot from any point in the hardwood at anytime, and his coach gives him the green light to do so. This season, Harden even gives his game an upgrade by passing the ball more often, thus making him an even more dangerous player to guard against. 

Not bad for a player that didn’t even make it to the NBA All-Rookie first team or get past the second round in the 2009 NCAA Tournament when he played for Arizona.

Harden recently scored 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 11 assists as his superteam Brooklyn Nets blew the Los Angeles Lakers out of the water with a 109-98 win in LA's home turf. What is even more terrifying than the win against powerhouse LA Lakers was that Brooklyn did not even have one of its star players, Kevin Durant, to play due to an injury.

Durant has been in and out of the lineup for the most part, and just recently, the former MVP has been out due to a hamstring injury. Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets’ head coach, provides this Durant injury update: “There is no timeline still.”

Brooklyn blew the lights out of the LA Staples Center with the personification of team work as five of its players (two off the bench) scored in double figures. Brooklyn was even ahead by 25 points against the Lakers at one point in the game.

Another player from Brooklyn, Joe Harris, had an amazing breakout game from rainbow territory, hitting 6-of-7 threes to finish, adding up to 21 points in 30 minutes of play.

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“I think what they want to see is improved strength,” Nash said. “Usually when you have a little injury like this, there is a strength deficit and until you have that strength back, it’s not necessarily safe to resume play. There are a few progressions he has to meet but other than that, we just got to monitor it and see how it goes."

It was not just the Brooklyn offense that was impressive during the game, but also their punishing defense against the Lakers, even extending the defense and holding the latter to only 26.7% from the three-point area.

“It’s about time. It’s about time we turn the corner defensively,” said Kyrie Irving. “No team is gonna win anything in this league if they don’t get stops. It’s about time. We heard them loud and clear the last couple of games."

It is a really disappointing loss for the Los Angeles Lakers. Lebron James had a pretty solid 32 points along with a good game from Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol, and Harrell Montrezl but it was not enough to push the Lakers for the win.

James Harden is focused in winning the NBA title this year and Brooklyn has formed a formidable team around him with superstars like Durant and Irving, plus topnotch players like Joe Harris, Jeff Green, and DeAndre Jordan. With a five-game winning streak, Harden is determined to take the team to the top of the Eastern Conference knocking on the doors of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons of Philadelphia.