NBA

James Harden not cleared to return yet

Share This Story

   
 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)

Thunder reserve James Harden has not yet been cleared to play after suffering a concussion when he took an elbow to the head from the Lakers' Metta World Peace.

bracket

WORLD PEACE?

Metta World Peace floored James Harden on Sunday with an elbow to the head. Watch the video.

Coach Scott Brooks said Harden would not play Tuesday night against Sacramento and was not expected to even be at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Brooks said Harden would be re-evaluated before Oklahoma City plays its regular-season finale against Denver on Wednesday night.

He would not say whether he would play Harden if doctors allow it or hold him out as a precaution.

''That's hypothetical. I don't know,'' Brooks said. ''Until I find out if that is the case, I would have to think about that.''

Harden was hurt when World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, swung his left elbow and hit him on the back of the head behind his left ear during a game Sunday. Harden was able to fly back to Oklahoma City and is going through the league's new process of getting cleared to play after a concussion.

''There's steps that we have to take. We just have to continue that, the process of doing all the steps,'' Brooks said, adding that there was ''really no update.''

He said Harden ''did a few things but just not everything'' in the team's shootaround on Tuesday morning.

''He seems fine to me,'' NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant said. ''I'm happy that everything is OK with him, nothing too serious, I guess. We're just taking it a day at a time. We care more about James' health than him being on the court playing basketball for us.''

Even with nothing to gain in the West standings, Brooks said he will ''definitely'' play his normal starters this week but he may reduce their playing time slightly.

bracket

HISTORY LESSON

How many times has Metta World Peace/ Ron Artest been suspended? Let's count.

The Thunder were locked into the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with two regular-season games remaining. They still were jockeying for position with Miami in the overall NBA standings, which would only come into play if both teams reach the finals.

''That's not how I operate or the team operates. We focus on what's at hand,'' Brooks said. ''It's kind of fun to think of those terms but you can't be that arrogant to think that you're getting past three rounds and you're focusing on Miami or Chicago.

''It's about who we play now and who we play in the first round. ... The history of the league tells you you can win on anybody's court.''

Brooks said keeping the team healthy was his No. 1 priority heading into the postseason, yet he wasn't planning extensive rest for his key players.

''We still want to keep working on playing good basketball, working on our good habits,'' Brooks said. ''We've done a good job all year. We're not going to stop now. No matter who plays, we still have a standard that we have to make sure it's in check.

''I really don't know right now the minutes. Still, they have to play a good amount of minutes to get a good rhythm and a good flow of the game. I can't imagine 40 minutes. It's probably mid-30s to low 30s on the guys that average that.''

Durant ranks third in the league with 38.7 minutes per game and just moved past Kobe Bryant for the scoring lead after the Thunder's loss in Los Angeles on Sunday. Fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook is averaging 35.5 minutes.

''If I play, I don't want to play 15, 20 minutes,'' Durant said. ''Scotty, whatever he wants me to do, I'll do it. But I really don't want to play a half or something like that. I want to go out there and, if I do play, kick it in full drive and use that as an opportunity to get better.''

''Once I'm in the mode and the energy is going, I just don't like to get pulled out and sit for a while,'' he added. ''I just want to hopefully play as long as I can. But we'll see what Scotty does.''

Durant, who has won the scoring title the last two seasons, is averaging 27.906 points to Bryant's 27.862.

''I know if I was in that situation, it would be on my mind and I would want it,'' Brooks said. ''I'm selfish and I would want to be able to say I'm the scoring champion. Kevin hasn't brought it up.''

Tagged: Metta World Peace, Kevin Durant, Lakers, Thunder, James Harden

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..