Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden left the team’s shootaround today with flu-like symptoms.
Coach Kevin McHale says he’s sure Harden will be ”ready to go” on Wednesday night.
”We’re confident coming in here. Obviously, we need James and we want James to play for us to win at a high level,” teammate Chandler Parsons said.
”No doubt in my mind, he’s going to play tonight. There’s no way some little flu bug is going to keep him from playing in an elimination game.”
Harden struggled mightily in Game 4 against the Thunder scoring just 15 points and turning the ball over 10 times.
Harden is averaging 25 points per game in the series but for the most part the Thunder have been able to handle him.
Houston obviously needs to be at full strength tonight to beat the Thunder at home and if Harden is under the weather, that will make it tougher for them to overcome OKC.
Harden seems like the kind of player that is easily affected by something little like this messing with him. I wouldn’t feel good about him possibly being pretty sick for the game tonight.
The Thunder will be back home for the first time since the Russell Westbrook injury and they will be looking for some of their role players – who always play better at home – to step up.
Thabo Sefolosha didn’t shoot well in Houston, Kevin Martin only played well in the first halves and Serge Ibaka no-showed Game 4.
Houston saw their role players shoot lights out in Game 4 and expect that to go down tonight, especially if Harden isn’t 100 percent and unable to get them as many open looks as usual.