James Harden exchange: Grading Nets’ deal a month later

It has been over a month for the reason that Nets made a deal to construct James Harden from the Rockets. The eight-time All-Star has been a shining set aside for Brooklyn. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving out Tuesday evening, the Nets pulled off the largest halftime comeback in franchise ancient past over the Suns. Harden had 38 parts, 11 assists and 7 rebounds in the capture.

There used to be mighty dialog on how Harden would fit in with Durant and Irving on the roster. Irving told newshounds the opposite day that he spoke to Harden about his purpose on the team.

“I truly feel savor he’s been doing a mountainous job of comely managing the level guard purpose. We established that per chance four days ago. I comely checked out him and I acknowledged, ‘You’re the level guard, and I’m going to play shooting guard.’ That used to be as easy as that.”

After a month for the reason that blockbuster deal, The Crossover workers focus on on the exchange and grade the deal.


Michael Pina: B-

James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant maintain simplest played 186 minutes in seven full games collectively. In that time they’ve the suitable offense in NBA ancient past and are outscoring opponents by 8.4 parts per 100 possessions. Moderately correct. Harden, for his part, leads the league in assists and is posting 50/40/90 splits. Decent. 

My grade isn’t an A+ as a result of Brooklyn’s inability to get stops in the playoffs remains a snort (it’s 27th in defensive rating since Harden’s Nets debut) and, with Durant and Irving clearly productive ample by themselves to prop up a championship offense, forfeiting its biggest rim protector (Jarrett Allen) alongside with more than one first-spherical picks/settle swaps in an all-in strive to capture on the very ultimate stage still feels a smidge pointless. 

Who’s guarding Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo or Anthony Davis in a seven-sport sequence, let alone Bam Adebayo? All that acknowledged perchance defense received’t topic if no team has one which can end Brooklyn’s three-headed offensive monster.

Rohan Nadkarni: INC.

One month is still too soon to capture the Harden exchange for Brooklyn. Ought to you trudge all for your team is judged by what occurs in the playoffs. A pause making an strive a championship would no longer necessarily be an automatic F, but if this experiment goes bust the Nets better maintain a truly correct reason, particularly with Kevin Durant having a scrutinize savor his mature self put up–Achilles whisk. Whereas Harden deserves credit rating for fitting into the Nets’ offense, Brooklyn’s defensive components build the team irregular among title contenders. Noteworthy can exchange—collectively with the roster itself—between now and when the valid take a look at begins.

Chris Herring: B

To this level the Nets are performing nearly exactly the methodology I notion they would if and after they swung a deal for Harden. Nonetheless I don’t know if that’s a correct ingredient or no longer.

With an offense that’s ranked first and a defense that’s ranked 27th since Harden first took the bottom for Brooklyn, you understand what you’re going to get when Brooklyn takes the bottom. They’ll rating on each person but can’t end anybody. There’s no real rim protection; in signing Iman Shumpert and André Roberson, they’re banking on guys who were out of the league fully unless now.

If there’s an upside, even though, it’s that the East is there for the taking, anyway. The Bucks aren’t a dominant defense anymore. The Sixers, who drew praise to begin up the season for their overhauled offense, maintain gotten up fewer and fewer threes because the yr’s frail on. The Celtics maintain taken a step again on offense with key cruise gamers missing truly intensive time.

And if the Nets can get through the East, it’s phenomenal that they’re 6–0 in opposition to golf equipment currently in playoff draw in the West.

We’re feeble to seeing championship groups hang some level of steadiness, as a minimum sniffing the tip 10 on every aspect of the ball. Brooklyn isn’t wired that methodology, even though. The Nets are built to capture shootouts evening in and evening out. And with this mighty of a scoring punch they can also maintain what it takes to be the exception barely than the guideline.

Ben Pickman: B+

Harden has fit in properly with the Nets, exhibiting his stellar playmaking skill as both a main scorer and passer. Via his first 15 games with Brooklyn, Harden led the Nets in passes made per sport (70.1), throwing larger than 20 more passes per sport than Kyrie Irving. Harden’s 11.8 assists per sport with the Nets would be a occupation-excessive if it held at some stage in the the relaxation of the yr and his 8.4 rebounds per sport would additionally be a occupation-biggest. 

Harden’s scoring output has dipped to 24.3 parts per sport with the Nets, but as his 38-level efficiency on Tuesday in opposition to the Suns showed, he’s still larger than able to lights up opposing defense from around the rim, on the again of the arc and on the free throw line. Silent it’s anxious for me to present the deal larger than a B+ at this level because the blockbuster exchange would possibly be judged by how the Nets get in the postseason. 

Unfair or no longer this team has a barely transient title window and pondering what the Nets gave as much as build Harden, postseason success is crucial for the franchise. It’s surely going properly now, but how the team gels toward the tip of the long-established season and in the postseason is what each person seems desirous to trudge in search of.

Elizabeth Swinton: Grade: A-

Though the Huge Three maintain played comely seven games collectively, every participant has so far confirmed that he’s challenging to sacrifice for total success. This used to be a mountainous query after the Nets traded for James Harden, but The Beard in narrate is thriving for Brooklyn because the team’s main facilitator, highlighted by league-main 11.3 assists per sport and 5 triple doubles in 16 games played. Though he started his tenure with a spotlight on playmaking over scoring, Harden has improved at some stage in his first month in Brooklyn to be aggressive on the offensive live while preserving his teammates concerned and caring for the ball—to no longer mention he has overlooked comely one sport while Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving maintain been out sporadically because of the accidents and COVID-19 protocols.

By methodology of who the Nets gave up in the exchange Brooklyn has overlooked Jarrett Allen among the—which used to be to be anticipated. The Nets’ defensive inconsistency is restful their weak level with groups normally having a feast in the paint and on the boards. Silent Brooklyn has confirmed in most up-to-date games that it’ll clamp down defensively and maintain success in its little-ball lineup with more consistent contributions from the bench.

The Nets maintain had flashes of having a scrutinize unbeatable because of the the offense, but they’ve additionally seemed prone with an indolent defense. Loads of the team’s struggles boil down to effort. Harden’s steadying presence and leadership maintain so far been rate the blockbuster exchange for a Nets team with enhancing chemistry and championship aspirations.

Michael Shapiro: A

It’s anxious to present the Harden deal one thing but an A to this level. The three-time scoring champion has been as correct as advertised in Brooklyn, seamlessly transitioning to pseudo-level guard set aside of residing because the Nets receive the optimal utilization for their three-headed monster.

Brooklyn is scoring an repugnant 121.4 parts per 100 possessions with Harden on the bottom. The Harden-Durant combo sports a plus-10.4 offensive rating. Harden carried Brooklyn to a comeback capture over the Suns on Tuesday with both Durant and Irving sidelined. He racks up double-digit assists when his co-stars are on the bottom. Harden’s offensive versatility is the loyal trace of his brilliance, in a position to fluctuate between secondary possibility and elite scoring dynamo.

The “there’s simplest one-ball” concerns concerning Brooklyn’s Huge Three were faulty a month ago. They’re downright ludicrous now. Or no longer it’s comely to quibble with the Nets’ defensive woes, a real roadblock to their Finals aspirations. Nonetheless it surely’s no longer as even though the Harden acquisition made Brooklyn a unhappy defensive team. Houston’s mature celeb is every thing the Nets hoped he’d be, setting the stage for a doable championship speed. 

Robin Lundberg: A

Ought to you build a loyal celeb and surely among the suitable doable gamers in the game, you capture a exchange. Length. As far as James Harden’s fit with the Nets to this level, I judge about a things would possibly well also maintain been underestimated when the deal used to be made. For one ingredient, Harden brings one thing that neither Kevin Durant nor Kyrie Irving does (as a minimum to the same level): elite playmaking. By methodology of seeing the bottom and putting in others, he’s comely on the tip of the league with the likes of LeBron James and Chris Paul. And he has rightfully leaned into that aspect of his sport in BK. 

Moreover, he’s real. Harden has below no circumstances overlooked fundamental time because of the damage and is ready to consistently tackle a mountainous minutes load. Therefore his presence is insurance in opposition to unexpected circumstances. After which there’s the truth that despite concerns about defense and depth, if the Huge Three are accessible, I save a query to the Nets to be playing for the championship. So yeah, the Harden deal used to be a correct one.

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