Sportress of Blogitude

James Harden: Nets ‘in a whole different mindset’ during winning streak

The Brooklyn Nets are on an absolute roll of late, and James Harden credits the team entering into “a whole different mindset” during its current winning streak.

The Nets defeated the Sacramento Kings by a score of 127-118 Tuesday night for the team’s seventh-straight win. Harden posted a triple-double in the win with 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.

After the game, Harden opened up about what exactly has led to the Nets’ scorching-hot tear after struggling a few weeks back.

“I think for us we can’t worry about what happened two weeks ago or our mindset. I think now we’re in a whole different mindset and we’re just going to stay that way,” Harden told reporters.

“We don’t look at the names on the jersey, we look at ourselves and figure out how we can be great every single night and we prepare ourselves and much as we can, and we go out there and play our brand of basketball every single night. As of lately, we’ve been doing that at a high level and in which we’ll continue to do that,” Harden added.

What makes the Nets’ recent hot streak so remarkable is it is being done mostly without one of its vaunted Big Three. Kevin Durant on Tuesday night missed his fifth straight game due to a mild left hamstring strain, though there is cautious optimism that the one-time NBA MVP could return before the All-Star break in early March.

When the Nets acquired Harden in a blockbuster deal with the Houston Rockets, much was made about whether his ball-dominant style of play would mesh with the similarly styled offensive approaches of Durant and Kyrie Irving.

However, Harden has not only settled in remarkably well into his new role with the Nets, he has thrived.

As Harden, Durant and Irving continue to build chemistry on the court — when all three actually have had the opportunity to play with one another — the Big Three have quickly come to realize the possibility is there to capture lightning in a bottle and dominate the NBA landscape.

While there have been some bumps in the road — especially on the defensive side of things for the Nets — Harden is averaging 25.2 points, 11.6 assists and 8.5 rebounds with Brooklyn across 19 games.

Even more important, the Nets are in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 21-12 record heading into a Thursday game against the Orlando Magic when the red-hot team seeks its eighth victory in a row.