Harden overrated?

Sewok15
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Harden overrated?

What James Harden is doing lately is almost unprecedented in the modern NBA. He has put up amazing scoring numbers lately and is carrying his team to the playoffs. It is hard to wonder how bad the Rockets would be without him. One team has not been so dependent on one players offense since the Sixers with Iverson in 2001. However that team was built differently than this Rockets team. Most notably they played defense.

Capela being out hurts them a lot but watching them against the Sixers last night has me thinking Harden just might be overrated. He had 3 assists to 6 turnovers. Anyone with the ball in their hands as much as Harden getting double teammed about 30% of the time should definitely have way more assists.

Austin Rivers has always been atrocious but it seems like Harden's hero ball is killing Eric Gordon. He was a good player just last year and this year he looks horrible. Harden had 37 in 3 quarters last night but the other starters combined for just 14 points in the game. PJ Tucker took 3 shots in 30 minutes.

It seemed like Harden was more worried about scoring than winning. Especially when he was challenged by Sixers defenders starting when TJ picked him up full court. Brewer and Embiid also got in his head by playing good defense and talking trash.

In the third quarter when it was clear he was the only Rockets offensive threat they double teammed him with almost no regard for the 4 other Rockets players. It often resulted in a turnover or forced shot. With all the denial of the ball you would think he would cut back door and get an easy (assisted) bucket at some point but it is 100% Iso.

Last year in game 1 of the Rockets Warriors series James Harden dribbled the ball 550 times. KD, Steph and Klay combined to dribble the ball 549 times that game. I just don't think you can beat good teams consistently playing with one player having the ball that much. The other players can't get into any sort of offensive rhythm when their only touches are with 3 seconds left on the shot clock.

My point is while all the talking heads in the NBA are already giving Harden the MVP award I am thinking there are certainly more valuable players around. It would be interesting to see how Houston looked with Giannis, LeBron or even Paul George. Somebody who will play defense and take less shots seems like they would be more conducive to winning.


juves4783
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different take

i watched the game last night and had a much different take. it was "houston, you have a problem". paragraph 3 sums it up perfectly. the team around him was atrocious last night. harden shot 46% from the field and 3's. the rest of the team was 32% from the field and 17% from 3. and you wonder why harden had only 3 assists...well anytime he passed the ball for a shot, his teammate missed....

i was actually amazed that harden was able to maintain a 46% field goal percentage with the amount of attention he was getting. i thought almost the complete opposite and came away with how good harden was playing almost 1 against 5 on offense.

all in all, d'antoni has some serious problems. the frontcourt is in horrible shape without capela. they have no size. jarrett allen put up a 20-20 on them, the lakers centers (mcgee and zubac) combined for 29-21 and embiid literally could've dropped 50 on them last night if he wanted. they need robin lopez or enes kanter to be waived in the worst way.

i also think d'antoni would be better off with just taking rivers out of the pg role entirely and putting gerald green in there. at least give the opposition another threat to worry about.

thetruth87
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Totally unrelated to

Totally unrelated to Harden... I'm a Knicks fan and I LOLed when you suggested that picking up Enes Kanter would deter opposing front court players from putting up huge numbers against them.

juves4783
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Lol

lol...it's more about just getting some size than anything. i get that kanter is probably no better defensively than what houston already has. but there were times when faried or tucker were the tallest guys on the court and both are undersized for their natural positions.

Memphis Madness
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He's The Human Channel

He's The Human Channel Changer for me. Don't like his style of basketball (kinda the same thing with RJ Barrett).

If he is the face of your league then your league is in trouble.

To me, Greek Freak is the MVP. Seems like a cool guy and he is killing it on both ends all over the court.

Saw him single-handedly end the Gasol Family Regime in Memphis. Worth the price of admission -- never saw Dr. J play, wasn't even BORN when he was in the ABA but I can imagine that this is what Prime ABA Dr. J was like.

Harden's stats are a bit "rigged" but, probably, so are the stats of Westbrook and probably a few other guys. Although LeBron's mega high usage has led to a bit of stat padding since he came into the league. So, maybe it is all LeBron's fault.

Not helping that the Rockets are mediocre, the Lakers are mediocre, and Anthony Davis (the Unicorn of Stat Stuffing) is "leading" the New Orleans professional basketball franchise to nowhere.

Embiid is a real big-boy basketball player with real big-boy stats but he is kind of a clown.

The top "feel good" players this year are Greak Freek (by far), Nikola Jokic, and Paul George.

I probably have Luka Doncic ahead of LeBron in my internal NBA MVP Big Board, BUT he might be closer to a Rick Barry-White Chocolate combo than a video game beast mode mash-up of Magic and Bird.

So I guess James Harden is the new face of a Jailblazers Era version of the Bird/Magic/Michael Golden Age.

We are TRULY LIVING in a gold-plated NBA Age.

The Goat
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I really think a lot of guys

I really think a lot of guys could do what he does if given the chance. You may say his usage rate isn't the highest, but I think that's more how they calculate usage. All guys are on the floor so they can either get him the ball or immediately shoot if he ever passes it. In this recent tear, in the games he had 57, 58 and 48 he was not assisted on a single basket. Think about that. I saw highlights where guys filled the lanes ahead of him on the break and he still didn't pass. Look at the footage of the Embiid chase down block from last week. The guy has no shame in pounding the ball.
Great scorer and shooter, but really, these guys are the best 450 or so players in the world. I'm sure there are many that could produce similar results if given this kind of freedom. Harden is an absolutely terrible defender also. Houston are not going to come out of the West and soon Chris Paul will be back and taking the ball, which means Houston has Hardens production decline despite Paul taking 40 mil per year or so to supposedly make them better..? I wouldn't want to be the Rockets.

Mkadoza
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James Harden is merely the

James Harden is merely the emblematic ball dominator for todays NBA. Same as Iverson was in the nineties and Kobe for the oughts. Only difference? Perception.

Memphis Madness
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This is an asterisk era. So,

This is an asterisk era.

So, Harden, LeBron, Westbrook and those guys are the tops in this era, BUT you can't say that Harden or Westbrook is having a better season than guys in the past. 35-8-8 meant something when Michael Jordan did it back in the late 80's.

The 1961-1962 season should ALSO have an asterisk since that is the year that Wilt scored 100 points in a game and averaged 50 for the season. Not only that, Oscar Robertson averaged a triple double and Walt Bellamy averaged 30 and 20 for the year.

Some stats geniuses should find out what the most "average" season in the NBA was in terms of pace, usage, minutes played, and all that then base each year's stats off that. Then you can make a good comparison.

You can also use The Average NBA Season (TANBAS) as a deflator for subsequent seasons.

Maybe the year before Magic and Bird showed up. The ABA stuff was already factored in and adjusted for, the game was more physical (although no 3 pointers have to be taken into account). Although that era probably favored bigs too much with both Kareem and Moses Malone putting up otherworldly stats (for big men).

I also think that 1992-1993 was a classic year with a great blend of perimeter stars (prime MJ) plus Shaq's rookie year. Wasn't a 3 Point Era then, but enough players hit enough 3's to make that season a good one for comparison's sake. Dan Majerle hit a ton. As did the Magic wings like Dennis Scott and Nick Anderson. Seems like you had some breakout volume 3 point shooters in that era.

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Stats mean nothing nowadays.

Stats mean nothing nowadays. Copycat league, everyone wants to copy the GSW system to beat the GSW system but you cant beat offense with offense thats dumb. You beat offense with defense.

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