James Harden Injury: How Does the Absence of Nets Star Affect His MVP Hopes

Published 04/01/2021, 12:55 PM EDT
Feb 13, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) reacts after making a shot against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


James Harden has been climbing the ranks of the MVP ladder in recent weeks. Injuries to favorites such as LeBron James and Joel Embiid put the spotlight on the Beard.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Harden, despite his great play, wasn’t given MVP considerations because of his early season start with the Houston Rockets. But now, could his latest injury derail his MVP chances?

James Harden suffers major injury

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

James Harden sustained a hamstring injury in the 3rd quarter against the Houston Rockets. He didn’t return to the court. The extent of his injury hasn’t been made clear just yet.

But the Beard is set to miss at least a few games. We have seen how injuries have derailed the momentum MVP candidates had earlier in the season. So could this injury do the same for James Harden?

Since arriving in Brooklyn, Harden has been absolutely fantastic. He completely changed his style of play, shifting to the point guard position after playing as a shooting guard for his entire career.

Since he arrived, he has consistently been an attacking force. James has notched up several triple-doubles while making the Brooklyn Nets one of the best teams in the NBA.

Mar 31, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard James Harden (13) shoots the ball over Houston Rockets small forward Jae’Sean Tate (8) and point guard D.J. Augustin (14) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden’s play for the Nets has been crucial so far. Both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have missed a significant number of games for Brooklyn.

But Harden has been the consistent superstar for the Nets. In the absence of KD and Kyrie, Harden was carrying the team, putting on some of the best performances of his career.

DIVE DEEPER

‘100% Do That Deal Again’ – Rockets’ GM Rafael Stone Has No Regrets over James Harden Trade

about 1 month ago

Harden at risk of losing MVP

Since coming to Brooklyn, Harden is averaging 25 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds. He leads the NBA in assists. But this injury could significantly hamper his MVP chances.

If Harden is ruled out for a major period of time, it will allow other contenders like Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo to surpass him in the MVP race.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Mar 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) dribbles in the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Can James Harden become MVP once again? He has already won the accolade in 2018. However, a significant injury could derail his chances, as has been the case for several other early contenders.

But if Harden can make a quick recovery, Harden can pick up right where he left off and close out the season. as the stand-out favorite.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Former NBA Champion Feels LeBron James and James Harden Should Be Treated Equally in MVP Bid

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1165 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT