After the blockbuster four-team trade that landed former league Most Valuable Player (MVP) James Harden to Brooklyn and unite with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, one question has been in the minds of fans and critics.
Is this going to work?
A big factor for the doubt is because critics don’t believe that the trio could collectively make the necessary sacrifice to win it all.
However, it looks like one of the three is showing that all he cares at this point is winning and not his numbers.
Since joining the Nets a couple of weeks ago, Harden has massively adjusted his game to what the black and white squad needed for wins.
In his debut, he dropped 32 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists and four steals.
He continued this high-scoring all-around play until the return of Irving to the line-up.
In the debut of the Brooklyn Big 3 against Cleveland the Durant dropped 38 points while Irving finished with 37 points but Harden only had 21 points and only took 14 shots but he did end up with a triple-double with 10 rebounds and 12 assists.
Then last Saturday, up against Miami, in a tightly contested game, the “Bearded One” only had 12 points and 11 assists and only attempted eight shots.
Even with such a low shooting volume from Harden, the Nets did get the win with Durant finishing with 31 points in 11-19 shooting and Irving finishing with 28 points in 10-17 shooting.
Harden once again showed his all-around brilliance as despite only attempting 10 shots, he finished with 20 points, four rebounds and eight assists while his running mates Durant had 20 points and 13 rebounds on 6-21 shooting and Irving 16 points on a 6 of 17 clip.
Since becoming part of Brooklyn, the 31-year-old scoring machine has been averaging 23.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 11.3 assists in 47.2% shooting at the field with 14.8 shot attempts per game.
In comparison, this is the first time in his career that Harden is not taking more than 15 shots per game since leaving Oklahoma City back in 2012. This is also the first time that he is averaging under 25 points since becoming a Houston Rocket.
However, despite the decrease on his scoring and shot attempts, Harden is currently averaging a career high in rebounds with 7.3 and in assists with 11.3.
After years of being criticized as one of the most selfish and ball hog players in NBA history, Harden is showing that he is more than willing to adjust his game from a deadly scoring beast to an all-around high-scoring threat that can will Brooklyn to victory in multiple ways.
If Harden continues his adjustment with Durant having the experiences, the Nets are now one-piece adjustment away from becoming a legitimate contender on the court and not just on paper. That piece is the adjustment of Irving’s game.
Do you think Harden’s sacrifice will pay off? Do you think he can continue this kind of playstyle? Sound off in the comment section!