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James Harden has bruised hand, will play in Game 5

Jun 21, 2012, 9:35 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder player James Harde Getty Images

Thunder sixth man James Harden is going to play in Game 5.

The Thunder need him to start playing well, but that’s another issue.

Thunder officials confirm Harden has a bruised hand but that it is not severe and he will go on Thursday night in Miami. The injury took place during Game 4 Tuesday night but Harden did practice with the team on Wednesday. He also got treatment and iced it.

Harden, who was the X-factor for the Thunder in this series, has not played well. He is 4-for-20 shooting the last two games with some key turnovers thrown in as well. He is a key reason the Thunder trail the Heat 3-1 and have their backs against the wall.

He’s been hesitant, and against an athletic defense like the Heat that ends poorly because they can recover so quickly. He used to look for his shot then create for others off that, but now he seems to be looking to pass first and it has thrown off his game. He also draws the defensive assignment of stopping LeBron James, which is going to wear any player out.

If the Thunder are going to get this series back to Oklahoma City the guy who was a force during the season needs to show up.

  1. xrateplaya - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Probably injured with a bruised ego with the way the heats been handling his azz

    • soflasfinest - Jun 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      Haha took the words right outta my mouth. ONE more to go!

  2. wjmoffatt - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    He is already coming up with excuses, doesn’t sound good. But on the positive side, maybe James will now stop shooting the 3 and wasting possessions.

  3. finalword33 - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Maybe he dunked his hand instead of the ball on that breakaway.

  4. jeffw - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Bruise hand? Big deal. I’d be more surprised if he DIDN’T have an injury at this point in the playoffs. I think all these boys are pretty banged up right now. Play through it and let the best team win!

  5. blakspartan - Jun 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    I think his beard has been in the way of his shooting and court vision harden cut or trim that bullsh(;))

  6. trimaster1 - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Bruised hand
    + guarding Lebron
    = 1 very long night.

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