James Harden, the victim of a Metta World Peace elbow on Sunday that left him with a concussion, was cleared by doctors in time to play for the Thunder on Wednesday night.
However, coach Scott Brooks said the team decided to rest him Wednesday as a precaution. Harden sat out the Thunder’s last game of the regular season, a 106-101 loss to the Denver Nuggets. He is expected to practice with the team this week and be ready to go for them when the playoffs start this weekend.
To be cleared, Harden had to pass a series of both physical and computer tests, all tests he (and every NBA player) took before the season as a baseline.
For some, World Peace’s suspension should have been tied to how long Harden was out. However, NBA commissioner David Stern said that after reviewing the evidence he thought seven games was appropriate. He will miss the first six Lakers playoff games.
Harden is a key part of the Thunder attack and is the almost certain Sixth Man of the Year winner this year.