James Harden’s latest injury setback and how it could hamper the Nets’ championship hopes, why RJ Barrett holds the keys to the Knicks’ playoffs chances, Zion Williamson grabbing a fictional honor from Blake Griffin, Trae Young’s goggles, and Paul George continues to play like superstar.
Publish Date: Apr 22, 2021
on today's show, we discuss how good the knicks can be this season. The rash of recent injuries including James Harden's latest setback And the passing of the uh torch from Blake Griffin to Zion Williamson. Hey, I'm task mellis and this is what you need to know in the NBA for Wednesday, April 21. Good morning everybody. Thank you so much for joining me. Let's jump right in, injuries have been the talk of the NBA recently stars are going down the great tom Haverstraw reported how many, many players this past weekend missed games. The logic is the schedule conducted in a smaller window than previous seasons has resulted in injuries, but the latest development in James Harden situation has more wrinkles than that. James Harden suffered a setback in rehab this week. He was working his way back from a hamstring injury and coach steve Nash said He may not be back till the playoffs, which are four plus weeks away. Got to wonder if the way James Harden came into Rockets camp late and overweight finally caught up to him. If you remember I was doing some partying in other cities. He said he was rehabbing, he didn't want to be in Houston and this isn't just me being an internet troll comparing him to rick ross and all that. His coach said it steve Nash said during the regular season hardened can't practice because he's not in good enough shape to play in both games and practices. His games are his practices and he was a workhorse during those games he played, he has been throughout his entire career, every time he suits up he doesn't miss games, but there are few worries for hard and getting back healthy to help Annette's championship run this season. First this was actually his second hamstring setback and as we know, hamstring injuries don't just go away. He missed two games in early april due to the hammy. He came back and tweaked it on an innocent looking play when he went into the lane versus the knicks on april 5th and he has missed seven straight games since trying to get back hamstring injuries linger. This is hardened talking to his hamstring. Do you have to do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger? I won't let that linger for you too long and just like that in game tweak nash said Harden didn't fall or stumble during his rehab session. He just felt. And a scan revealed the setback, another huge worry how long it will take for him to get into game shape when he comes back. Has he been keeping in shape while out it could be six weeks total before he's back and doesn't even matter. He'll still be awesome Most likely as he was earlier this season. That's the beauty of the nets versus his Rockets days. He doesn't have to do everything. He doesn't have to play every possession closed out every possession, there's less on him. And the biggest worry though to me as if Harden comes back for the start of the playoffs. He kevin Durant and carry, Irving will head into go time having played only seven games together. Even if they haven't played that much together. The nets have enough talent to win multiple playoff series. But what happens when they face some adversity for the first time, they haven't had hard losses together where they find a way they persevere, they haven't been hardened pun intended. It happened recently where a team didn't have the scars to fall back on and they were bounced last year after the clippers were eliminated in the second round, paul, George talked about how wasn't there year, they didn't have enough time together. You get punched Down to one in a series fight back then down 32. What if the idea seeps in maybe this isn't our year. Especially considering Kevin Durant situation. He's also out. He missed 23 games earlier and his fifth game back. You got injured? You missed a couple games since. Uh so I'm sure that's wearing on them a little bit. There already expanding some mental energy. They're having to stay resilient. If you look around the league, the same is happening to a bunch of teams. As tom Haverstraw pointed out, The Lakers, the Blazers, the clippers, the Nuggets are in the worst situation of all because they're definitely not getting Jamal Murray back. Is the healthiest team going to win? This thing is this like the spurs winning the championship in the lockout season in the late 90s. But back to the nets Durant should be back soon and by all accounts and by all the eyes, these guys like each other and are on the same page, every situation is different and they're not the clippers of last year, but sometimes liking each other is not enough. On the other hand, they still have Kyrie Irving. The nets visited the Pelicans Tuesday and for me it was cool to watch Zion Williamson fly by and around and over blake griffin a couple of times. Not because I'm cruel, but because blake griffin gave us the most thrilling new ah moments in the 2010 And the thrilling moment leader title in the 2020s will belong to Zion Williamson got to come up with a better name for that title. But in their first ever match up, a couple weeks ago, they shared the floor for just eight minutes. It was a blow up. I didn't really mean much, but this one was like a passing of the torch of sorts as a guy who watches basketball nightly. I want these moments. Zion is going to be that guy in the 2020. Blake was that guy. It's kind of easy to forget already because where blake is in his career, but he was that guy in the 2010. Zion had 33 this one was a close game down the stretch and then it was Kyrie Irving time. He couldn't close it out in the nets previous game vs. Miami. But did he ever close it out against the Pelicans? He had two beautiful moves, can't stop me. The go left spin shot in the lane, man a tough shot and then was able to just keep that low dribble and get to the backboard Wow! Kyrie had 32 pelicans play. Interment hopes are fading fast, They have 14 games remaining and our four games back of the tournament a very interesting off season coming in knowledge. But the Mets, the Mets may not even be the best team in new york. The Mets definitely aren't the best team in new york. I'm not sure they're good. I haven't been following the National League. I kid the nets may not be the best basketball team in new york. The knicks are just scorching, they are scorching charlotte. Hornets visiting the new york knicks talk about thrilling. This game was so much fun, so much shot making, 66 60 at half for charlotte. Then the next showed how they can go from bottom rung playoff team to being a playoff problem for other teams in the third quarter, R. J. Barrett got hot. R. J. Barrett had an 18 point third cue, they need the second year player to be consistent offensively, that guy is the key. How good can R. J. Barrett B because they need someone to step up behind Julius Randle if they're going to be great. A couple days ago, I had knicks fans yelling at me on twitter for saying, I'm not sure what I said, I talk a lot about basketball, maybe I need a two week vacation from twitter, like steve Curran James Wiseman are taking, get out of that mentions tap. Now I said something about people not getting ridiculously excited for this team come playoff time because they don't have enough consistent offense. R. J. Barrett is the barometer though, because he got Julius Randle whose solid in the lead role and hopefully he can keep it up in the playoffs and tom Thibodeau is getting the most out of his vets playing in that eight man rotation, Nerlens Noel effort, Elfrid Payton, Taj Gibson and tips hasn't been tempted to start Derrick Rose and overuse him. Rose continues to come off the bench yet and eight for 12, 17 point night. Fabulous against charlotte and maybe the knicks can go on a Miami heat bubble like run, but bear it will have to be great, but the scouting report is out, don't leave them open in the corner charlotte, jeez, the knicks blew out charlotte in the second half and have now won seven in a row. Congrats to the knicks, shorthanded clippers versus the short handed Blazers, I'd say most NBA fans don't want to give paul George credit for being very good, but he has been phenomenal recently, playing like a number one guy. The ball is in his hands every possession down the stretch, especially with Kawai Leonard out more on his injury in a second paul George put the clippers on his back the last minute as they came back from down five, winning it on free throws. He had 33 pg, has 32 or more in six of his last seven heartbreaker for the Blazers though, just couldn't get a stop in that last minute and C. J. Mccollum had a great game in Damian Lillard's absence, but his shot at the buzzer didn't go down. Kawai, Leonard will be out at least until next week while managing right foot soreness. By the way, he missed four consecutive games with that foot injury. Came back for one. Now, out again will be evaluated in a week.