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View Full Version : What about James Harden ?



basketfan4life
11-08-2016, 06:56 AM
I really disliked this kid for a long time but statistically speaking, he is playing the best ball of his career.

3rd in scoring, 2nd in PER , 1st in assists. And his shooting percentages look better than his OKC days. But it is only 7 games. His form would probably drop but i'm still impressed.

What are your thoughts on his amazing start. Is James Harden peaking, is it the departure of Dwight or is it completely D'Antoni?

Also anybody watching all Houston games please inform us on his defence this year. Is that part of his game still sucks or is he better now?

And do you think by the first 7 games did he have the best start to the season individually?

PurpleLynch
11-08-2016, 08:23 AM
I just watched three games of the Rockets and my take on him(considering that the sample size is too small):

-I think he'll get tired if Houston reach the playoffs:right now he's posting MVP numbers,but it's difficult to keep this pace for an entire Nba season plus grueling playoffs.

-He's playing very well under D'Antoni and I think D'Antoni is a coach that fit his style of basketball. Futhermore,I think Harden is just getting better as time passes,at least on offense.

-On defense I wasn't focused enough to watch him,so I can judge him.I just think that any team with D'Antoni at the helm will have issues and glaring weaknesses,always.

-The Rockets in general are not a very good team:they have their star in Harden and just decent role players(Ariza,Gordon,Anderson,Capela). McDaniels,Nenč,Dekker are bench player at best right now and then? Just poor constructed team. That's a compliment to Harden actually,he's carrying a sorry team right now.

Scoots
11-08-2016, 09:14 AM
James Harden is still incredible on offense and he, like the Rockets as a whole, is TERRIBLE on D.

LoveCaliFan
11-08-2016, 10:29 AM
Harden's a beast, but his defense is elementary.lol..He's a fit in any system offensively, due to him being versitile in creating his own shot and getting to the free throw line. I just don't get how he's a good athlete at 6'5 220 and can't stop a snail..lol..

R. Johnson#3
11-08-2016, 11:04 AM
James Harden's off-season mindset.

Harden: Man, I'm gonna be the point guard. I'm going to get everyone involved all while lighting up the scoreboard myself. I figure if I'm lighting it up and my teammates are lighting it up too then we won't have to play any defence!

D'Antoni: Finally, someone who understands my coaching style!

mightybosstone
11-08-2016, 11:27 AM
Everyone is seriously overplaying his defensive deficiencies. Are the Rockets bad defensively? Yes. But even at the pace they're playing at, they're not even bottom five in points given up per game or opponents FG%. And Harden has hardly been the weak spot of the defense at this point. The bigger problem has been their rebounding and their interior defense, mainly with Anderson. But the Rockets aren't giving up 100+ points a night because of Harden.

And what the guy is doing offensively right now is otherworldly. He's basically like a better, hyperefficient version of Westbrook. The hate for him in this forum is strong.

Scoots
11-08-2016, 12:16 PM
Everyone is seriously overplaying his defensive deficiencies. Are the Rockets bad defensively? Yes. But even at the pace they're playing at, they're not even bottom five in points given up per game or opponents FG%. And Harden has hardly been the weak spot of the defense at this point. The bigger problem has been their rebounding and their interior defense, mainly with Anderson. But the Rockets aren't giving up 100+ points a night because of Harden.

And what the guy is doing offensively right now is otherworldly. He's basically like a better, hyperefficient version of Westbrook. The hate for him in this forum is strong.

I'm not hating on Harden or the Rockets ... just saying what's true ... Harden's D is still bad and the team around him are bad on D too.

I'm in Austin too and have plenty of Rockets and Spurs fans as friends and we talk about this stuff all the time. Harden is, no question, a great great NBA player ... but his D is usually straight up BAD.

As for people not understanding pace ... I think the vast majority on this forum understand it perfectly well. The Warriors 2 years ago were #1 in pace and #1 in many defensive metrics and they were lauded for their D. The Rockets are not an okay defense being hidden by pace ... they are a bad defensive team with a bunch of lazy defenders.

If I had to choose to build a team around Westbrook or Harden, I'd pick Harden ... but every player after him I'd select for their defense first :)

Hawkeye15
11-08-2016, 12:56 PM
I haven't watched the Rox yet this season, but his numbers are great. As far as defense, I need to watch. He has shown he can play defense, if he cares. But it's just usually not there.

MTar786
11-08-2016, 01:09 PM
Like I said before. Harden would be so much better playing as a point guard that passes as much as he shoots. Also helps hide his defensive issues

Vee-Rex
11-08-2016, 01:10 PM
Harden's passing ability is so underrated. Against the Cavs he was delivering bullets off of penetration like LeBron. He's such a great passer, he just needs to get more accustomed to taking that kind of role in an offense. Once he does that I think his turnovers will start to drop a little.

He's definitely top of the list for MVP IMO, though. So far in 7 games his man-to-man defense has been surprisingly decent and much better than his man-to-man defense last year. The only issue is if he can maintain this level of play on both sides while being the only backbone of the team for the entire duration of the regular season. It will be difficult.

tredigs
11-08-2016, 01:15 PM
I'm watching all their games I can right now. Pure and simple he's one of the highest IQ and most talented offensive players in the world, and he now has a role that is fully fleshing out his capabilities. The only downside to his offense (which is unselfish and dynamic to no end), are his turnover issues. He's too often lazy with his entry passes and defensively he tends to be slow getting back after those turnovers (nothing I despise more in a game than when a player does this), but by and large he gets his teammates the easiest looks outside of any player other than maybe 'Bron right now.

europagnpilgrim
11-08-2016, 01:26 PM
Harden is The Answer version of this day and time

only players who could drop basically 27ppg and 7apg and not make not one all nba team(1-3), The Answer was in his 12th season while Harden was just completing his 5th or 6th, they carry/create/score for the entire team and still get blasted for defense when not taking into account that being relied on so heavy on the off. side takes great energy to focus so evenly on the def. side

not taking up for either player but calling a spade a spade surely helps

the system of the coach fits players like Harden to a tee, a combo guard's dream to be apart of a Mike D led attack(offensively)

IndyRealist
11-08-2016, 01:43 PM
No one's going to bring up that D'Antoni inflates offensive numbers? I recall that mantra from when Nash was winning MVPs, and people saying he didn't deserve them.

tredigs
11-08-2016, 02:07 PM
No one's going to bring up that D'Antoni inflates offensive numbers? I recall that mantra from when Nash was winning MVPs, and people saying he didn't deserve them.

Wasn't particularly true though, his role just increased in Phoenix. In his first year under D'Antoni (his 1st MVP) he put up 15.5/3.3/11.5 on 50/43/89 in 34.3 minutes of action. Five years later as a 35 year old aging veteran two coaches removed from D'Antoni (Gentry at the time) he put up 16.5/3.3/11.0 on 51/43/94.

Those numbers were just who Nash was. And I think these numbers are just who Harden is (when given primary distribution duties. And in fact their pace last year was faster than it is this year (they rank 16th at 97.0 possessions a game).

Chronz
11-08-2016, 03:02 PM
Tried telling youtube people that there IS a difference moving Harden to the 1. He's not playing the same role despite still being his team's primary ballhandler. He's bringing it up exclusively and making typical dantoni repicks often and early.

That said, he got the offensive talent to suit him but this is the worst defense I've seen the rockets play in the +20 years I've followed them and he's still a culprit in it

Kawhi has been the best player thus far

Chronz
11-08-2016, 03:03 PM
Wasn't particularly true though, his role just increased in Phoenix. In his first year under D'Antoni (his 1st MVP) he put up 15.5/3.3/11.5 on 50/43/89 in 34.3 minutes of action. Five years later as a 35 year old aging veteran two coaches removed from D'Antoni (Gentry at the time) he put up 16.5/3.3/11.0 on 51/43/94.

Those numbers were just who Nash was. And I think these numbers are just who Harden is (when given primary distribution duties. And in fact their pace last year was faster than it is this year (they rank 16th at 97.0 possessions a game).

Quick when did he have the higher per and winshare, dallas or first year in phx

IndyRealist
11-08-2016, 03:04 PM
Wasn't particularly true though, his role just increased in Phoenix. In his first year under D'Antoni (his 1st MVP) he put up 15.5/3.3/11.5 on 50/43/89 in 34.3 minutes of action. Five years later as a 35 year old aging veteran two coaches removed from D'Antoni (Gentry at the time) he put up 16.5/3.3/11.0 on 51/43/94.

Those numbers were just who Nash was. And I think these numbers are just who Harden is (when given primary distribution duties. And in fact their pace last year was faster than it is this year (they rank 16th at 97.0 possessions a game).

I don't disagree, but Gentry also ran SSoL. It's not just the pace, it's the gimmick of the system and the lack of any effort on defence that allows for video game numbers offensively. Again, I don't buy into the idea, just restating the argument.

tredigs
11-08-2016, 03:16 PM
Quick when did he have the higher per and winshare, dallas or first year in phx

Guessed a slight edge to Phoenix and that's what it looks like. Makes sense?

Chronz
11-09-2016, 10:01 AM
Guessed a slight edge to Phoenix and that's what it looks like. Makes sense?

Nope. He actually had his highest rated season in one of his Dallas years but it was by the slimmest of margins.

ewing
11-09-2016, 12:29 PM
Everyone is seriously overplaying his defensive deficiencies. Are the Rockets bad defensively? Yes. But even at the pace they're playing at, they're not even bottom five in points given up per game or opponents FG%. And Harden has hardly been the weak spot of the defense at this point. The bigger problem has been their rebounding and their interior defense, mainly with Anderson. But the Rockets aren't giving up 100+ points a night because of Harden.

And what the guy is doing offensively right now is otherworldly. He's basically like a better, hyperefficient version of Westbrook. The hate for him in this forum is strong.

absolutely. I don't love Harden's style and i recognize that he isn't a great defender but he is the most underrated player on this board BY A COUNTRY MILE!

FlashBolt
11-09-2016, 06:45 PM
There's actually a theory that Harden quit playing defense after Artest elbowed him. It's quite true when you consider Harden was a pretty good defender for us. He locked up Kobe in many cases back at OKC.

lol, please
11-09-2016, 11:50 PM
I really disliked this kid for a long time but statistically speaking, he is playing the best ball of his career.

3rd in scoring, 2nd in PER , 1st in assists. And his shooting percentages look better than his OKC days. But it is only 7 games. His form would probably drop but i'm still impressed.

What are your thoughts on his amazing start. Is James Harden peaking, is it the departure of Dwight or is it completely D'Antoni?

Also anybody watching all Houston games please inform us on his defence this year. Is that part of his game still sucks or is he better now?

And do you think by the first 7 games did he have the best start to the season individually?

I mean, he is fringe if not a lock for MVP consideration season in and season out.

I have only watched one Rockets game thus far and I wasn't paying attention to him on the defensive end, so not sure if he's made improvements.

basketfan4life
11-10-2016, 05:06 AM
A td an a win against Spurs today. He's been wonderful so far. If he can cut down his TO's which i think he will, we'll probably be up for an amazing season.

tredigs
11-10-2016, 11:56 AM
There's actually a theory that Harden quit playing defense after Artest elbowed him. It's quite true when you consider Harden was a pretty good defender for us. He locked up Kobe in many cases back at OKC.

Very sound theory. Especially since he was not really playing defense at the time. He was just jogging back up the court.

Scoots
11-10-2016, 10:36 PM
Rather than think about what turned Harden's defense off ... what can be done to turn it on?

He's not ALWAYS terrible on D. Is it that he's saving energy for offense and offense just feels better? I've seen 4 of his games this year and he plays decent D in all of them from time to time, but other times it's like he really doesn't care.

Avenged
11-10-2016, 10:46 PM
My least favorite player since I started watching the league. Him along Terry. But have to give respect where it is due. He's been phenomenal and is the frontrunner MVP thus far.

KingPosey
11-11-2016, 09:36 AM
My least favorite player since I started watching the league. Him along Terry. But have to give respect where it is due. He's been phenomenal and is the frontrunner MVP thus far.

Hardens scoring and assists have been AMAZING, But, he still can't play d, and has anyone noticed how much he's turning the ball over?

I swear he's had like 25 turn overs the last 3 games. He's going to shatter his own record for turnovers.

tredigs
11-11-2016, 12:44 PM
Hardens scoring and assists have been AMAZING, But, he still can't play d, and has anyone noticed how much he's turning the ball over?

I swear he's had like 25 turn overs the last 3 games. He's going to shatter his own record for turnovers.

He's passing A LOT and shooting A LOT. His turnover% isn't high, just the raw (misdleading) total.

As for his D it's comparable to a Westbrook. He's been fine this year. The teams D as a whole is pretty terrible though.

KingPosey
11-11-2016, 01:01 PM
He's passing A LOT and shooting A LOT. His turnover% isn't high, just the raw (misdleading) total.

As for his D it's comparable to a Westbrook. He's been fine this year. The teams D as a whole is pretty terrible though.
Turning the ball over 8 times in back to back games is a lot, no matter how high your usage is. He isn't shooting more than he did last year, and 6 TOs a game is massive.

KingPosey
11-11-2016, 01:06 PM
his TO% is almost 20%, what do you mean it isn't high? And his defense has been no where near as good as Westbrooks.

Don't get me wrong, hes still been a stud, but none of what you said was true.

Miltstar
11-11-2016, 01:06 PM
I like his D at the Point a lot better than at the 2. He's always gonna be a high turnover player just because his usage is soo high. It's hard for me to compare selfish players like Harden and Westbrook to team players. I like Harden a lot more than Westbrook but having these guys on your team doesn't give anyone else the chance to really step up and thrive.

KingPosey
11-11-2016, 01:16 PM
I like his D at the Point a lot better than at the 2. He's always gonna be a high turnover player just because his usage is soo high. It's hard for me to compare selfish players like Harden and Westbrook to team players. I like Harden a lot more than Westbrook but having these guys on your team doesn't give anyone else the chance to really step up and thrive.

ya but his TO% isn't staying in line with his usage. Hes essentially turning the ball over 1 every 5 times he brings the ball up, that's absurdly high

tredigs
11-11-2016, 01:25 PM
his TO% is almost 20%, what do you mean it isn't high? And his defense has been no where near as good as Westbrooks.

Don't get me wrong, hes still been a stud, but none of what you said was true.

You know who also had turnover%'s at or higher than 19% as a career standard? Magic, Nash, Stockton, JKidd, Rondo, etc etc etc.

You know who's ever had an Assist% at 62% (Harden's current rate)? Nobody ever.

What exactly that I said wasn't true again? Harden at a 19.3% turnover% given his level of usage is not crazy what so ever.

Scoots
11-13-2016, 01:05 AM
You know who's ever had an Assist% at 62% (Harden's current rate)? Nobody ever.

I'd like you to show me how you proved that no player in the history of the NBA has ever had a streak of 8 games with an Assist% at 62%.

mightybosstone
11-13-2016, 12:48 PM
I'd like you to show me how you proved that no player in the history of the NBA has ever had a streak of 8 games with an Assist% at 62%.

Nine games now. ;)

But let's compare what Harden is doing to Stockton, who has seven of the top 10 assists seasons of all time. In his career, Stockton averaged at 50.2 AST% rate, easily the highest of all-time. He has six of the best per-season AST% of all-time, with two seasons topped out over 57 percent. And in those two seasons, his TO% was 19.7 and 20.3 percent, respectively.

Right now, Harden is posting an unreal 62.1 percent AST% with a 19.8 percent TO%. If those numbers were to stay on track, this could arguably be the greatest season by a point guard in the history of the NBA. And let's not forget, he'll have done it will averaging probably 28-30 points per game with 6-8 rebounds a night. Now I'm not saying the numbers will hold true over an entire season, but I also don't think we'll see a huge dropoff either. What he's doing is remarkable.

And I get the whole "D'Antoni inflates numbers" talk, but compare Nash's numbers to what Harden is doing right now, and they're pretty pedestrian by comparison. And that's talking about a guaranteed Hall of Fame point guard who won two MVPs in his career.

ewing
11-13-2016, 02:43 PM
assist % is a stupid stat

KingPosey
11-13-2016, 03:56 PM
You know who also had turnover%'s at or higher than 19% as a career standard? Magic, Nash, Stockton, JKidd, Rondo, etc etc etc.

You know who's ever had an Assist% at 62% (Harden's current rate)? Nobody ever.

What exactly that I said wasn't true again? Harden at a 19.3% turnover% given his level of usage is not crazy what so ever.
Well saying his turnovers are higher just because of his usage, isn't true. He's also turning the ball over at an insanely higher rate with only a slightly higher usage than last year. You can say the turnovers aren't a problem but he's on pace to shatter his own record for turnovers. That's a problem.

Also saying his defense has been equal to westbrooks was completely untrue. Everything points to one playing good defense, and one not.

FlashBolt
11-14-2016, 12:15 PM
Who cares about his T/O ratio when you consider he has to do so much. Who controls the ball? Ariza? Eric Gordon? No thanks. But remember, Klay is better than Harden.. OH LAWD.

Vampirate
11-14-2016, 12:22 PM
Great player offensively in a flawed system.

What happens when Harden eventually sits?

alexander_37
11-14-2016, 02:31 PM
Who cares about his T/O ratio when you consider he has to do so much. Who controls the ball? Ariza? Eric Gordon? No thanks. But remember, Klay is better than Harden.. OH LAWD.

Nail head hammer

tredigs
11-14-2016, 05:06 PM
Well saying his turnovers are higher just because of his usage, isn't true. He's also turning the ball over at an insanely higher rate with only a slightly higher usage than last year. You can say the turnovers aren't a problem but he's on pace to shatter his own record for turnovers. That's a problem.

Also saying his defense has been equal to westbrooks was completely untrue. Everything points to one playing good defense, and one not.

It's not a big problem if he also shatters the record for Assist% while putting up 30+ PPG. That's what you're failing to understand here.

@Scoots, I am clearly extrapolating his stats as a full season of worth, as we're comparing Assist%/Turnover% here, but since you brought it up, feel free to try to prove your contention true (not my problem). Completely undermines what he's doing and misses the underlying point entirely, but have at it. Also, recognize that his MPG and usage are consistent enough with his prior years numbers that there's nothing to assume that his numbers are a significant abberation. This is around what he's going to average this season.