James Harden is still searching for the right balance of scoring and playmaking with this year's version of the Brooklyn Nets, according to Harden himself.
"Honestly, I'm trying to figure all that out right now," the Nets star said after their 113-107 loss to the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. "I'm trying to figure it out. I'm trying to figure out when to score, when to be a playmaker, when to run the offense, when to do a little bit of everything."
In his first (partial) season in Brooklyn, Harden's adjustment was relatively seamless. He put up outrageous numbers when Kevin Durant was out of the lineup, and, the few times that both Durant and Kyrie Irving were both on the court with him, he picked his spots effectively. Harden didn't need to dominate all the time, but there was never any doubt that he could. In Year 2, it has been "a little difficult," he said, to find that same comfort level.
The subject came up because Harden had an ugly game against Phoenix. In 40 minutes, Harden scored 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting, missing all six of his 3-point attempts and only taking four free throws. His 14 assists and 13 rebounds were helpful, but his seven turnovers were damaging.