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View Full Version : How is James Harden so bad on D?



Scoots
02-02-2016, 02:13 PM
This has a real chance of becoming troll filled and that's not my intent.

I'm confused how someone so engaged and active on the offensive end can be so detached and so BAD so often on the defense end? Harden's D was not horrible last year and that was such an improvement people were actually calling it good.

I've watched a LOT of bad defense in the many years I've watched basketball, but I've never seen such a great player play D as badly. It's like he's not aware of the fundamentals, but we know from last year that he is. It's like he doesn't care about the game, but we know from last year that he does.

I wish we could hear what former 2 way SG greats would say about Harden.

Is it him just conserving energy like he's said? I think he should give up some of that offensive energy and save it for D.

Is it substance abuse? I wouldn't think so ... the Warriors Klay Thompson is supposed to partake and he manages to play D.

I'm baffled.

beasted86
02-02-2016, 02:37 PM
Klay Thompson is spoon fed what 85% (wild guess but probably not far off) of his field goals? Bad comparison. Harden clearly exerts way more energy on the offensive end than Thompson.

But back on topic, he shouldn't be this bad. Age hasn't caught up with him like Kobe, Wade, and Manu. And he's not simply laterally challenged like a Kyle Korver or anything like that. Its just effort and awareness.

aman_13
02-02-2016, 02:47 PM
He has poor defensive awareness.

MILLERHIGHLIFE
02-02-2016, 02:55 PM
Probably should shave the beard.

Hawkeye15
02-02-2016, 02:56 PM
2 things- He has zero defensive awareness. He watches the ball like it's a pair of boobs at all times, on both sides of the ball. The other thing is, nobody has ever held him accountable. A coach needs to yank him and park him on the bench when he goes ghost on defense, for his own good.

mngopher35
02-02-2016, 04:19 PM
He has poor defensive awareness.

Definitely seems to be his main issue. He just loses track of his player or the ball far too often.

Scoots
02-02-2016, 04:44 PM
Klay Thompson is spoon fed what 85% (wild guess but probably not far off) of his field goals? Bad comparison. Harden clearly exerts way more energy on the offensive end than Thompson.

But back on topic, he shouldn't be this bad. Age hasn't caught up with him like Kobe, Wade, and Manu. And he's not simply laterally challenged like a Kyle Korver or anything like that. Its just effort and awareness.

I don't think you actually read what I said when I mentioned Thompson and substance use ... I said Thompson (supposedly) uses weed and still manages to focus on D. I did not talk about his offensive game.

On the effort and awareness ... I just find it amazing that he can have his awareness fall so far in one year, let alone effort.

Scoots
02-02-2016, 04:45 PM
Probably should shave the beard.

I pray this coming April 1 someone plays that joke on him. I would LOVE that :)

Scoots
02-02-2016, 04:47 PM
2 things- He has zero defensive awareness. He watches the ball like it's a pair of boobs at all times, on both sides of the ball. The other thing is, nobody has ever held him accountable. A coach needs to yank him and park him on the bench when he goes ghost on defense, for his own good.

I would probably play great defense against hot topless girls :)

Not only does he watch the ball and not his man ... he stands straight up with his hands at his sides sometimes. It's really amazing.

DboneG
02-02-2016, 05:15 PM
Playing defense is about desire, and want...this guy do not want to play defense. Simple.

Harden plays what I call shadow defense, he just follow alone. He don't get back and stop the ball very well, He's slow to get back on defense after a offensive play, He gamble too much on defense, then expecting D. Howard to bail/help him out. Hence: the fall out between Howard and Harden. I can tell the two are not the best of friends...body language and their rapport on the court/bench.

I also think he's not in the best of shape to play good/great defense. Harden has enough energy to play great offense. Then, rest. You have to spend the same amount of energy on defense, just like you did on offense. Harden does no where near that. He don't want to play defense...hence the firing of McHale.

MILLERHIGHLIFE
02-02-2016, 05:17 PM
I pray this coming April 1 someone plays that joke on him. I would LOVE that :)

I was happy once MCW and Jabari got hair cuts. Early in the season Jabari was starting to look like Buckwheat. MCW looked like a dishwasher with hair net on.

Chronz
02-03-2016, 04:08 PM
The belief that he has to do so much for his team offensively is what saps him the most, who knows maybe thats part of the plan, to build around the way you would Iverson, just get him defenders and let him exert everything offensively (though the plan to get Lawson suggests otherwise). I dont know when but Harden refuses to play any other role other than primary everything, he used to be such a good off the ball player and a decent defender. He rests more on defense than Klay does on offense so there is something to be said for Harden finding a better balance.

Im sure someone could look it up but Im willing to bet Klay runs alot on offense, possibly comparable to Harden just in different sets but on defense, I have no doubt Harden just watches the ball as much as he can.

Hawkeye15
02-03-2016, 04:31 PM
I would probably play great defense against hot topless girls :)

Not only does he watch the ball and not his man ... he stands straight up with his hands at his sides sometimes. It's really amazing.

I would foul out in a minute

DboneG
02-03-2016, 04:39 PM
I think James Harden is not in championship shape. He's in NBA shape. He's not ready to go to the next level shape. He don't have enough energy for good/great defense, and his want isn't there.

Remember: Michael Jordan started working out before practice with Tim Grover, they called it The Breakfast Club...it changed everything. I think that started in 1989. The rest was history. The name Breakfast Club came because Mj's chef use to fix breakfast for the guys...Ron Harper, Scottie Pippen, Randy Brown, Charles Oakley.

Scoots
02-03-2016, 08:00 PM
The belief that he has to do so much for his team offensively is what saps him the most, who knows maybe thats part of the plan, to build around the way you would Iverson, just get him defenders and let him exert everything offensively (though the plan to get Lawson suggests otherwise). I dont know when but Harden refuses to play any other role other than primary everything, he used to be such a good off the ball player and a decent defender. He rests more on defense than Klay does on offense so there is something to be said for Harden finding a better balance.

Im sure someone could look it up but Im willing to bet Klay runs alot on offense, possibly comparable to Harden just in different sets but on defense, I have no doubt Harden just watches the ball as much as he can.

But that idea that he's terrible on D because of his effort on O is belied by last year when he was doing more on O and was actually engaged on D. He's done it so now that's no longer a valid excuse.

warriors4l1fe
02-03-2016, 08:08 PM
Totally agree that it's no longer a valid excuse. Lots of players play O and D hard successfully. Mamba/MJ, etc.

I've never had a beard, but I always wonder if it bothers him to have it now. He didn't have it before that one run with OKC, not he's got to have it because he's known as The Beard...thoughts on whether he wants to get rid of it, but can't?!


But that idea that he's terrible on D because of his effort on O is belied by last year when he was doing more on O and was actually engaged on D. He's done it so now that's no longer a valid excuse.

basketballkitty
02-03-2016, 08:25 PM
He watches the ball like it's a pair of boobs at all times, .



Well in James defense, he is dating a Kardashian....:laugh:

sens#11fan
02-03-2016, 09:07 PM
As others have pointed out he has poor defensive awareness and I don't think he's in the best physical shape to sustain his impact on the offensive end; as well as being able to play some solid defence. In addition, he seems like he has no desire to stay in front of his man and lock them down; he just wants to get the ball and score. Lastly, I think ego has some affect because I don't remember him being this awful at OKC. With the Thunder Russ and KD kept him pretty grounded, which forced him to kinda work harder. Being the star at HOU has made him to some sort of prima donna and has affected his work ethic on both ends of the court; sort of like what happened to AI and Tmac. However, those two guys just had a much more competitive drive when it came to game time.

ManningToTyree
02-04-2016, 01:02 AM
He has bad instincts and worse effort. Always felt that side of the ball was mostly effort. If you don't have great instincts athleticism etc you can't be an elite defender but anybody in the NBA who gives effort should be passable.

Scoots
02-04-2016, 10:45 AM
Chances are Harden can't just shave the beard. His Adidas contract almost certainly has an appearance clause that limits how much he can change what he looks like.