James Harden’s return to the court Monday was anything but perfect, but we aren’t all that surprised. Harden suffered a tendon sprain in his foot in early November and was given a 4-6 week recovery time. He made his return at the earlier end of that timetable.
While Harden was okay to return starting at around 4 weeks, he wasn’t coming back at 100%. His lackluster return was evidence of that. The star played 38 minutes and raked in 21 points (only 4 for 19 FGs), 7 assists and 7 turnovers. He missed all of his field goal attempts inside the 3 point line. All-around, it was just obvious that Harden wasn’t playing his best.
If Harden had waited those extra two weeks, our algorithm is suggesting his return might have been a little smoother. His play will continue to improve as his foot sprain continues to heal and he gets back into basketball shape.