James Harden To Be Game-Time Decision Friday Night
HOUSTON - Rockets’ head coach Kevin McHale says James Harden will be a game-time decision for tonight’s matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Houston’s All-Star shooting guard has been dealing with a sore right foot ever since sustaining the injury during Houston’s February 12 game against Golden State when Harden stepped on David Lee’s foot while attempting to ‘Eurostep’ his way around the Warriors’ forward on a fast break.
“We’ll see how he feels tonight,” said McHale following Friday morning’s shootaround. “James has got a couple things going on in his foot that’s bothering him. We’ve just got to figure out what approach is going to help him maintain at least the amount of healing that needs to take place from here on out. I mean, ideally, you’d say yeah, we take three weeks off, but I don’t think we’re at that point. He’s got to figure out how much rest and activity he can do and still get some healing into that foot.
“I want his foot to be better a week from today and I also want him to be able to play if he can. He’s our top guy, but if those are not compatible then you’ve got to make some other decisions.”
Harden has only missed one game since sustaining the injury – Houston’s February 13 contest against the Clippers the very next night – and his statistical production has provided little in the way of hints that he has been physically restricted. In the 10 games he’s played since hurting his foot, Harden has averaged 26.9 points, 7 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and nearly 47 percent from beyond the arc.
The 23-year-old was non-committal regarding his status after spending a half hour fine-tuning his shooting stroke following the conclusion of shootaround, but made it very clear that he wants to play tonight against the Timberwolves.
“That’s my intention every game,” he said. “Now whether I can play before the game, that’s a different story. But my intention is to go out there and compete every night. We’re trying to make the playoffs. I’ve got to look at the bigger picture.
“It’s just the same injury I had since the Golden State game – just some throbbing in my right foot. But it’s nothing too crazy … I’m a little bit more cautious now because the way I hurt it was when I was trying to ‘Euro’ and stepped on David Lee’s foot, so I’m just trying to be more cautious with what I do and where I plant.
“I’ve been playing since that game so I’ve just got to get treatment and do the right things for it.”