Lamarcus Eldridge set to start the Brooklyn Nets; James Harden went out early Wednesday

NEW YORK – All-star Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden has been ruled out of Thursday’s game with a hamstring tightness against the Charlotte Hornets, while the team’s newest acquisition – Center L M Marcus Aldridge – is available for a debut in Brooklyn.

Harden won the Houston Rockets 120-108 on Wednesday. After that, coach Steve Nash said Harden, who missed the entire fourth quarter, would be re-evaluated on Thursday morning. Nashe said he did not believe the injury would stop Hardon in the long run.

Meanwhile, Aldridge is available for the first time since agreeing to sign with Brooklyn on Saturday. Nash said Aldridge will have a shorter ramp-up period so the team can evaluate his fitness and safely integrate him into the lineup.

Aldridge will play for the first time since early March, when the San Antonio Spurs announced that the center would be tied to the side as they worked to find another team for him.

Aldridge said he thinks he can bring rim protection to Brooklyn by shooting 3-points and help the floor into space, adding he hopes to achieve early center position.

The addition of aldridge should help the already short hand mesh. Brooklyn will be without Black Griffin, who is sitting on the net’s back-to-back night for injury maintenance – and Kevin Durant, who is still rehabilitating the hamstring strain that removed him from mid-February.

Landry Shemet is also available on Thursday after missing last week with a sprain in the ankle.

The Nets hope to have a full, healthy roster next week that gives them enough time to build on-court chemistry before the playoffs. Durant, Harden and Kerry Irving’s Nets’ Big Three have played just three games this season, and Durant was already injured when the team added him from the buyout market.