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Harden: I need time to find form after long rehab process

Al Bello / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Brooklyn Nets star James Harden admits he's still shaking off the rust after spending the offseason rehabbing a Grade 2 hamstring strain sustained last season.

"I had no opportunities to play pickup or nothing this summer," Harden said after Wednesday's 106-93 loss to the Miami Heat, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "Everything was rehab for three months, from a Grade 2 injury that happened three times in one season. So this is my fifth game of trying to just play with competition against somebody else.

"And as much as I want to rush the process and be back to hooping and killing, (have to) take your time."

Harden is averaging 16.6 points, eight assists, and seven boards through five appearances this season. He's shooting a career-low 35.9% from the field, including 33.3% from deep.

The former MVP's scoring is down eight points per contest from a year ago due in large part to a diminished free-throw rate.

However, Harden believes things will turn around if he remains patient.

"My career, I've been blessed," Harden said. "Just not having surgeries or whatnot. So just this whole process last year was just, like, frustrating and draining. ... It was draining for me to know that I couldn't be myself and be out there on the floor and be the player that I am.

"But I'm finally slowly getting back to it. It just takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But it's gonna happen. But you got to just continue to keep fighting, and I will."

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