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Nets' James Harden has just eight free-throw attempts through three games

Nets guard James Harden reacts after committing an

Nets guard James Harden reacts after committing an offensive foul against the Hornets during the second half at Barclays Center on Sunday. Credit: Noah K. Murray

Nets superstar James Harden has averaged 8.7 foul shots per game over his long career, but he had just one in Sunday’s 111-95 loss to the Hornets and has just eight free-throw attempts through three games. Coach Steve Nash described him as the "poster boy" for a new rule that forbids players to draw fouls by making what are considered non-basketball moves.

Asked if he agreed with Nash’s description, Harden said, "Yeah, sure, but I’m not the type to complain about it. I ask every official, if they see a foul, just call a foul. Sometimes, I feel like, coming into a game, it’s already predetermined or I have a stigma getting foul calls. But I just ask for the officials to just call what they see.

"A foul’s a foul. It’s pretty simple. I feel like they’re putting too much emphasis on rules, and not even rules, but certain people. For me, you’ve just got to keep going. No big deal."

Asked if he must change his game, Harden said, "I can’t stop playing basketball. A foul is a foul no matter what league it is. But it’s bigger, I’ve got to play better obviously."

Griffin rested for Wizards on Monday

Nash and the performance team chose to rest starting forward Blake Griffin against the Hornets in the first game of a home back-to-back so he will be fresh for the Wizards Monday night..

"We’ll definitely adjust a little bit on these two games. It’s just an opportunity to protect guys and give other guys some minutes."

That decision begged the question of whether the Nets would rest Durant in one game of most back-to-back sets as they did last season when he was coming off a year absence to recover from a torn right Achilles tendon.

"Yeah, I think we’re more comfortable playing him," Nash said. "He’s had more than enough time since the injury, since the return. It’s proven that he can handle that."

New York Sports