I took Harden. It's admittedly a tad of a homer pick, but unlike a lot of people here, I think Harden has more upside. Harden has already gotten and understood the things he needs to do to be successful: score efficiently, get to the basket and foul line, shoot well, handle the ball and get your teammates involved, play decent perimeter defense. All he has to do is perfect those things to continue to improve.
Blake, on the flip side, is the exact same age as Harden but has so many more things to improve upon. He's done a good job at rebounding and using his size and strength to get easy baskets and get to the line. He's also an excellent passer for a player of his size. But he has no mid range game (which all elite PFs in this league have), he is a mediocre foul shooter and he's a below average defender and shot blocker despite elite athleticism. People will say that Blake has more upside because he has more room for improvement, but it's his third season and he really hasn't shown signs of improvement in any of those things.
I think Blake has got a LONG way to go before he's among the best big men in the league, while I think Harden has already proven that he's among the best wings in the NBA. As a No. 1 in Houston, there's no doubt in my mind that Harden will put up a higher scoring average and WS/48 this season, and I think their PERs will be extremely close.
This is why you don't jump the gun. Harden is 3-15 shooting now and in the last two games where he's finally facing good defenses who zone in on him he's getting destroyed. Blake is carrying injuries and not off to a good start himself but still a good lesson.
Harden is one man who can't do it all by himself. I hope that people start realizing that now.
You're seriously missing the point. People need to understand that Harden isn't going to be as efficient as a scorer without KD and Westy as he would have been with them. He's going to be the focal point of opposing teams defenses and as a result he's going to have to work harder to get himself good looks.
Westbrook's game is erratic and he takes more than his share of ill advised shots as well but guess what the more he shot the more you'd see KD and Harden free on the perimeter. He helped his team with his shooting. He's started off this season much like last and by season's end he was an All NBA 2nd teamer.
Harden is a purer/more efficient scorer than Westbrook I don't get what you're getting at by trying to bring him into the conversation. If you want to justify Harden's poor shooting bring Kevin Martin's game into the convo not Westbrook they are more similar scorers.
It will clean up over time. He is the veteran player on the NBAs youngest team. But with time and practice it will clean up ... hopefully.
James Harden shooting 17 - 57 with 16 TOs in the last 3 games. Wow.
This is Harden's first season as a clear cut #1 option in the NBA after learning to play in the shadow of KD and Westy and quite a lot of time against 2nd units. He's going to have A LOT of ups and downs HOWEVER he's a quality player who knows ho to get his own offensively as well as keep his teammates involved. He's going to even out and have a solid year BUT he isn't going to average 28 on a TS% of 70%+ (I know at least 3 posters that would tell you that based on his stats he can do it they said it at the start of last season) other teams are going to focus in on him and force him into taking bad shots, deny him the ball he's going to have to learn on the fly. He's had to adapt (though his style is easily adaptive to almost any system) to the offensive scheme of the Houston Rockets.
Shooting is a streaky thing. He'll even out. I still don't think however that he has the potential that Blake Griffin has though. More skilled? Yes. More talented? Not in my opinion.
Harden.. More complete player
If Blake had led the Clippers to a winning season then I'd flip my opinion. Harden is a winner and Blake is a follower.
Stronger than most 15 year old girls.
wow Harden after hot start,is now cold as *****,last 3 games
vs Blazers 8-24 5 TO
vs Denver 5-15 6 TO
vs Memphis 4-18 5 TO
Crazy he is just killing any hiuston hopes to win a games