Thunder sixth man James Harden missed most of this morning’s short shootaround session.
“He did a few things but no not everything,” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks told reporters. Harden is being evaluated by the team’s medical staff and other concussion specialists in Oklahoma City.
So far Harden seems to be responding well at least that’s what teammate Kevin Durant says, “he seems fine to me,” KD said after shootaround. “I’m happy that everything is okay with him, nothing too serious.”
Harden probably won’t play tonight against Sacramento or tomorrow against Denver even if he is cleared. The Thunder is locked in to the No. 2 seed in the NBA’s Western Conference and playing Harden would seem to be a needless risk.
You could probably say that about the starting lineup too but Brooks plans to at least begin the game with his regular lineup.
“Definitely that,” Brooks said before throwing in this caveat, “unless someone comes down with a head cold or something.”
Turns out Durant has a cold or at least the sniffles, maybe it’s just allergies. But he for sure sounded a bit stuffed up as he spoke with reporters. He also made it clear what he’d like to do these last two games.
“Whatever he (Brooks) wants me to do I’ll do it, but I really don’t wanna just play 15 minutes or a half. If I do play I want to kick it in full and use that as an opportunity to get better.”
Durant is locked in a tight battle with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant for this season’s scoring title. Durant is currently averaging 27.91 points per game and Bryant is right behind at 27.86.
The Thunder three-time All-Star has said he’s not concerned about it either way but his coach admits, “it would be cool. I know if I was in that situation it would be on my mind and I would want it because I’m selfish,” Brooks said smiling, “but Kevin hasn’t brought it up. He has two scoring titles already, but yeah it would be cool if he did get it.”
Durant is averaging 28.3 points this season against the Kings.
Randy Renner has covered Oklahoma sports for 30 years and writes for NBA.com.