Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer

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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#101 » by McBubbles » Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:57 pm

Post rule change Harden struggle bump?
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#102 » by jalengreen » Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:19 pm

Easily MJ but I don't think the rule changes are why Harden has struggled and I hope his absurd peak isn't diminished because of that notion. He's averaging more FTA/g than last season.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#103 » by Peregrine01 » Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:07 am

Harden is probably a better scorer than MJ when he's on. But MJ's scoring was a lot more resilient...and he tended to up his volume while maintaining his efficiency in the playoffs whereas the reverse has been true for Harden.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#104 » by HardenandWilt » Wed Jan 12, 2022 11:35 am

They changed the rules because of harden, he made scoring 30 the new 20 and scoring 40 the new 30. Just like wilt of his day when he told mj,” remember they made the game harder for me.” While they making it easier for you

My screename says it all.. both also donned the #13 jersey
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#105 » by McBubbles » Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:02 am

HardenandWilt wrote:They changed the rules because of harden, he made scoring 30 the new 20 and scoring 40 the new 30. Just like wilt of his day when he told mj,” remember they made the game harder for me.” While they making it easier for you

My screename says it all.. both also donned the #13 jersey


I mean when you're jumping on someone's back and you get a free throw, they're going to change the rules :lol: Harden is the Detroit Pistons of free throws. Exploited the rules in such a way that made an inferior basketball product.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#106 » by McBubbles » Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:26 pm

Forgot to put my own opinion on this thing.

MJ crushes Harden. It's not very close unless you just don't care about the playoffs, in which case you could argue that it is close. If you do regular season only, then MJ is slightly better on average, with an argument to be made for Harden being a tiny tiny bit better at his peak. If you include post season then MJ is about 2 tiers higher on average.

During Harden's extended prime (which I'm classing as 2013-2021), he's averaged 29PPG on 61.2TS / 38.7PP100 on +6.2rTS in the RS.

During MJ's extended prime (rookie year to 93) he averaged 32.3PPG on 58.9TS / 41.7PP100 on +5.2rTS in the RS

Harden's best season saw him average 36.1PPG on 61.6TS / 48.2PP100 on +5.6rTS in the RS.

MJ's best season saw him average 35.0PPG on 60.3TS / 43.6PP100 on +6.5rTS in the RS.

So MJ on average gets an extra 3 points per game and per 100 on just a -1% TS decrease? Advantage MJ, though Harden's best was slightly better than MJ's.

In the post season though? :oops:

Harden from 2013-2021 has averaged 27.6PPG on 58.4TS / 36.1PP100 on +3.4rTS.

MJ from 1985-93 averaged 34.7PPG on 58.1TS / 41.7PP100 on +4.4rTS.

So in real time, MJ averages 7 more points on near identical efficiency, but when adjusted for pace and era he averages nearly 6 more points on a HIGHER efficiency. Not close. MJ's career average PPG and PP100 in the post season is higher than both of Harden's career highs.

Harden's best post season saw him average 29.6PPG on 63.6TS / 38.6PP100 on +7.6rTS

MJ's best post season saw him average 43.7PPG on 58.4TS / 47.6PP100 on +4.3rTS.

So an extra 10PP100 on moderately lower relative efficiency. MJ wins by a lot here again.

I personally don't really want to use any of these two seasons though. MJ has an extremely extremely small sample and Harden's not only took place whilst in the bubble, in which several superstars saw a ridiculously, ridiculously outlierish increase in their scoring efficiency, but also took place while he was on a gimmicky ass 5 out super-microball line-up.

Harden's best post season besides that is either:

2015 in which he averaged 27.2PPG on 62.0TS / 34.3PP100 on +8.8rTS.

2017 in which he averaged 28.5PPG on 58.3TS /38.3PP100 on +3.1rTS.

2019 in which he averaged 31.6PPG on .567TS / 40.6PP100 on +0.5rTS.

MJ's best post season besides that saw him average 36.7PPG on 59.2TS / 42.7PP100 on +5.5rTS.

So MJ's best blows 2017 and 2019 out the water with 2015 being moderately more efficient but on significantly lower volume, not enough volume to make up the gap in production.

So yeah. MJ on average is slightly better in the regular season, crushes Harden in the post season.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#107 » by feyki » Thu Jan 13, 2022 2:03 pm

Harden against the Warriors in the 2019 Playoffs:
34,8 PPG, +4,9 rTS, %88 unassisted points rate,

Harden against the Lakers in the 2020 Playoffs:
29,4 PPG, +11,1 rTS, %76,5 unassisted points rate,

Jordan against the Jazz in the 1997 Playoffs:
32,3 PPG, +0,01 rTS, %47 unassisted points rate

. Assisted points tracking started with play by play data. Don't have the data past 97, unfortunately. Jazz series was the best of Jordan's 97 championship run, that's why I picked it.

Without adjustion and with the second prime Jordan, Peak Harden definitely ahead of him on all combined scoring volume, shot efficiency and creation.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#108 » by No-more-rings » Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:43 pm

feyki wrote:Harden against the Warriors in the 2019 Playoffs:
34,8 PPG, +4,9 rTS, %88 unassisted points rate,

Harden against the Lakers in the 2020 Playoffs:
29,4 PPG, +11,1 rTS, %76,5 unassisted points rate,

Jordan against the Jazz in the 1997 Playoffs:
32,3 PPG, +0,01 rTS, %47 unassisted points rate

. Assisted points tracking started with play by play data. Don't have the data past 97, unfortunately. Jazz series was the best of Jordan's 97 championship run, that's why I picked it.

Without adjustion and with the second prime Jordan, Peak Harden definitely ahead of him on all combined scoring volume, shot efficiency and creation.

97 MJ is terrible comparison. MJ's peak scoring stretch was 88-91, where he was considerably better than 97.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#109 » by McBubbles » Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:38 pm

feyki wrote:Harden against the Warriors in the 2019 Playoffs:
34,8 PPG, +4,9 rTS, %88 unassisted points rate,

Harden against the Lakers in the 2020 Playoffs:
29,4 PPG, +11,1 rTS, %76,5 unassisted points rate,

Jordan against the Jazz in the 1997 Playoffs:
32,3 PPG, +0,01 rTS, %47 unassisted points rate

. Assisted points tracking started with play by play data. Don't have the data past 97, unfortunately. Jazz series was the best of Jordan's 97 championship run, that's why I picked it.

Without adjustion and with the second prime Jordan, Peak Harden definitely ahead of him on all combined scoring volume, shot efficiency and creation.


Look at the numbers I posted.

Also beyond a certain point the extent to which your scoring is assisted doesn't really matter between shot creators and is more indicative of off ball ability than it is degree of difficulty or offensive support. MJ is a better off ball player than Harden and so likely has more of his shots assisted on. It iz what it iz.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#110 » by Peregrine01 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:03 pm

The other thing that deserves mention in this comparison is variance. Harden's scoring has higher highs and lower lows than MJ's scoring and it's even more apparent in the playoffs. This matters because playoff series are small sample size in which every game matters. So if Harden stinks it up in 4 games but is on fire in the other two, it hurts his team's chances of winning the series a lot more than if he had the same average scoring production at the same average efficiency in all those games.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#111 » by McBubbles » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:17 pm

Peregrine01 wrote:The other thing that deserves mention in this comparison is variance. Harden's scoring has higher highs and lower lows than MJ's scoring and it's even more apparent in the playoffs. This matters because playoff series are small sample size in which every game matters. So if Harden stinks it up in 4 games but is on fire in the other two, it hurts his team's chances of winning the series a lot more than MJ's more steady scoring production.


Shorter, less polite version - Harden has choked like a mofo in ways that reading averages cannot quite capture.

From 2013-2017 it was a guarantee that Harden would drop at least one game per post season with some trash ass WOAT performances.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#112 » by HardenandWilt » Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:10 am

McBubbles wrote:
HardenandWilt wrote:They changed the rules because of harden, he made scoring 30 the new 20 and scoring 40 the new 30. Just like wilt of his day when he told mj,” remember they made the game harder for me.” While they making it easier for you

My screename says it all.. both also donned the #13 jersey


I mean when you're jumping on someone's back and you get a free throw, they're going to change the rules :lol: Harden is the Detroit Pistons of free throws. Exploited the rules in such a way that made an inferior basketball product.


Because its effective,thats why so many young nba players copy hardens style

anthony edwards, iman quickley, luka, trae... i could go on, even the big men are in on it you are seeing embiid, KAT, and randle using hardens stepback( yes i said harden stepback) and embiid in particular has mastered harden tactics of foul-baiting( not shocking since morey is his gm now
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#113 » by HardenandWilt » Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:17 am

McBubbles wrote:
Peregrine01 wrote:The other thing that deserves mention in this comparison is variance. Harden's scoring has higher highs and lower lows than MJ's scoring and it's even more apparent in the playoffs. This matters because playoff series are small sample size in which every game matters. So if Harden stinks it up in 4 games but is on fire in the other two, it hurts his team's chances of winning the series a lot more than MJ's more steady scoring production.


Shorter, less polite version - Harden has choked like a mofo in ways that reading averages cannot quite capture.

From 2013-2017 it was a guarantee that Harden would drop at least one game per post season with some trash ass WOAT performances.


moreyball is a staple in todays nba because of harden

hardens playoff stats tail off (regardless of what ben taylor may say) largely because of his dismal free throw rate in the playoffs.. Harden sees the largest drop of any guard of the past 50 yrs from his normal free-throw rate in the regular season to the playoffs. Meanwhile great guards of the past like kobe, wade, west, oscar, jordan( especially) all saw minimal to no changes from their regular season to postseason free throw rate..
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#114 » by Frosty » Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:52 am

HardenandWilt wrote:They changed the rules because of harden, he made scoring 30 the new 20 and scoring 40 the new 30. Just like wilt of his day when he told mj,” remember they made the game harder for me.” While they making it easier for you

My screename says it all.. both also donned the #13 jersey


Harden could only say, hey I played my whole career in a league designed to make the lives of slashing scorers easier. You would have loved it MJ
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#115 » by No-more-rings » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:33 pm

Peregrine01 wrote:The other thing that deserves mention in this comparison is variance. Harden's scoring has higher highs and lower lows than MJ's scoring and it's even more apparent in the playoffs. This matters because playoff series are small sample size in which every game matters. So if Harden stinks it up in 4 games but is on fire in the other two, it hurts his team's chances of winning the series a lot more than if he had the same average scoring production at the same average efficiency in all those games.

You keep saying this, but honestly I'm not sure what makes you think Harden has higher highs. Are you forgetting that MJ scored 63 points in a playoff game against the 86 Celtics for example? Or that he had multiple 40+ ppg series?
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#116 » by Ambrose » Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:52 pm

You could make the argument he's a better regular season scorer but Jordan was far more resilient in the postseason, and that's the major difference between them.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#117 » by Ambrose » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:06 pm

King Ken wrote:
Cavsfansince84 wrote:
King Ken wrote:This makes zero sense


It makes perfect sense. Defenses become tougher in the playoffs with more game planning and more physical defense usually allowed which Harden has had trouble dealing with in most of his post season runs while MJ's scoring pretty much always went up on as good or better efficiency regardless because he has a higher ceiling as an athlete and a more polished all around scoring game.

Nothing you said made any sense. If defenses get harder in the playoffs which of course they do. MJ who is less scheme versatile would be the first for have issues with today's NBA. How would he have more success? Saying his scoring when up is meaningless if the personnel to defend him is not there. Sorry but Randy Wittman and Steve Smith is not defending MJ in space. Khris Middleton with a hard zone and Giannis and Lopez behind him and constant rolling traps is a MASSIVE difference. Just impossible to make that statement when the quality of competition is just favored in MJ's direction, it's unfair.

Best believe you aren't scheming the ball out of Harden's hand effectively if you gotta show your double team or it's a tech. Centers would foul out like crazy if Harden played in that era. It's not even fair to compare the two. The gap is quality of competition, level of defense, personnel grouping, and rule changes just simply make this a pointless statement.

MJ is easier to scheme. Detroit proved that and these defenses are miles away more advanced than those Pistons could ever dream of.

You can say a lot of nonsense but MJ would be A LOT easier to defend in this era than Harden and it's not even close. Harden playmaking is a monster to deal with. Harden's dribble drives are exceptionally hard to defend do to his body control, ball handling, size and strength 6'5 245 and vision at all times. He is an on ball machine. Clearly more advanced than Jordan and it's not even close. Even PPP is tiled in Harden's favor v. modern schemes and defenses. It's a joke to say what you are saying. A ridiculous joke.


It makes sense because Jordan has a bigger bag of tricks. Harden has no in between game, and when he can't spam his normal moves, his play falls off. Jordan was a far more diverse scorer, and that's why he was consistently able to scale his scoring regardless of opponent, where Harden falls off. Harden is way too predictable.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#118 » by Peregrine01 » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:34 pm

No-more-rings wrote:
Peregrine01 wrote:The other thing that deserves mention in this comparison is variance. Harden's scoring has higher highs and lower lows than MJ's scoring and it's even more apparent in the playoffs. This matters because playoff series are small sample size in which every game matters. So if Harden stinks it up in 4 games but is on fire in the other two, it hurts his team's chances of winning the series a lot more than if he had the same average scoring production at the same average efficiency in all those games.

You keep saying this, but honestly I'm not sure what makes you think Harden has higher highs. Are you forgetting that MJ scored 63 points in a playoff game against the 86 Celtics for example? Or that he had multiple 40+ ppg series?


What I meant was volume combined with efficiency. I do think Harden's highs are "better" than Jordan's because he can shoot the 3 better.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#119 » by VanWest82 » Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:57 pm

Don't forget about the turnovers. If we cut out the bad pass turnovers from each guy to isolate non play making, Harden is committing ~1 additional turnover per game above Mike (19-20 vs. 97-98). Note: USG rates aren't identical here but close. Given MJ's TOV% wasn't all that different earlier in his career despite considerably greater play making responsibility, I'd say if anything he was probably turning it over less on scoring plays in his prime.

As we know, turnovers are worse than missed shots. MJ wasn't just a better and more efficient scorer in the playoffs; he was better in RS too.
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Re: Harden vs. MJ as a Scorer 

Post#120 » by feyki » Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:06 am

Peregrine01 wrote:The other thing that deserves mention in this comparison is variance. Harden's scoring has higher highs and lower lows than MJ's scoring and it's even more apparent in the playoffs. This matters because playoff series are small sample size in which every game matters. So if Harden stinks it up in 4 games but is on fire in the other two, it hurts his team's chances of winning the series a lot more than if he had the same average scoring production at the same average efficiency in all those games.


Then why NBA Finals performances gets all the credits?
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