Nets hopeful James Harden can return by end of series?
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There was legitimate concern about James Harden’s status for the rest of the playoffs after he departed Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals with a new hamstring issue. Not only are the Nets hoping to get him back at some point in the playoffs, it sounds like it could be before the end of their current series.

TNT reporter Jared Greenberg revealed on NBA TV that the Nets are “hopeful” that Harden could be back against the Milwaukee Bucks, albeit not in Game 2.

Harden is still characterized as day-to-day with right hamstring tightness. That’s concerning because it’s the same hamstring that kept Harden out for over a month in the regular season. However, Greenberg says that absence was somewhat precautionary in nature, as the team did not want to rush Harden back with a potentially deep playoff run looming.

The Nets won Game 1 essentially without Harden. That’s partly because Blake Griffin had such a big game that he felt entitled to a little bit of disrespect at the end. If Brooklyn keeps playing with that kind of swagger, they’ll be okay until Harden can return. It’s even better news that it sounds like that could happen sooner than initially feared.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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