The James Harden Thread (2019-20)

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The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#1 » by Dr Spaceman » Tue Sep 3, 2019 9:45 am

New footage from Rico Hines:



Harden looks quite a bit leaner than he was at the start of last season. Other than 2017-18 he’s been a slow starter generally so hopefully he can come out of the gate quicker this season. Also looks like that 1 legged fade-away three is going to see actual game usage, which yikes.

I think the Rockets will be a much better regular season team and a worse playoff team than last year. Westbrook is an iron man who can play big minutes at high intensity but critically lacking in the shooting and defense department. Basically the exact opposite of Paul, whose game IMO translated better to the postseason.

Still, the Rockets have a shot. Just on the strength and indestructible nature of the two stars they can get to 60 wins and the 1 seed without straining too hard and this year there’s no boogeyman like the Warriors. In the playoffs I’d expect and even field with them and the Clips and Lakers and maybe Jazz and Nugs as sleepers.

Hopefully House can take a step forward and be an actual playoff contributor. McLemore and Chandler are good signings as end of the bench guys. They need 1 more wing but if they can somehow nab Iguodala that becomes the strongest 8 man rotation in the league IMO.

Excited to see how things play out. This team has a lot more variance than last year’s.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#2 » by Ron Swanson » Tue Sep 3, 2019 1:08 pm

Think people are kinda sleeping on him this year as an MVP candidate. Only guys I'd put better odds on right now are Giannis and maybe Jokic. Playing with Westbrook didn't prevent PG from being an MVP candidate last year, and CP didn't cut into Harden's numbers like many people thought he would each of the last two seasons.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#3 » by eminence » Tue Sep 3, 2019 4:01 pm

I'm interested to see how often they go to a 3 guard look and/or if House develops a bit to fill that 3 spot. Westbrook putting a stop to his personal slide will be important to really have a shot at 60 (I'd peg them a bit over 50, which in this West could see you anywhere from #1 to #6). Not nearly as high on their depth as you sound Spaceman. PJ is getting up there and they look pretty mediocre from 6 onwards.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#4 » by Dr Spaceman » Tue Sep 3, 2019 5:41 pm

eminence wrote:I'm interested to see how often they go to a 3 guard look and/or if House develops a bit to fill that 3 spot. Westbrook putting a stop to his personal slide will be important to really have a shot at 60 (I'd peg them a bit over 50, which in this West could see you anywhere from #1 to #6). Not nearly as high on their depth as you sound Spaceman. PJ is getting up there and they look pretty mediocre from 6 onwards.


Last year the starting lineup missed 58 games combined and they only had Rivers for half of the season and House for the back third. Their bench will be much improved, no Melo, and hard to see Westbrook missing 24 games like Paul did. Hard to overstate the upgrade from Melo, MCW, Marquise Chriss to the guys they’ve got now. I think a slight improvement on last year is reasonable and 60 would be at the High positive range of outcomes.

I think Gordon will start at the 3 like last year. He’s better on both ends of the floor than House. And PJ is 34 but he’s played less career minutes than Danny Green, for example. Mileage matters as age does. 7-10 is Rivers, Chandler, Green, Gary Clark/Ben Not world-beaters but Rivers is very solid and Chandler can contribute defensively and other than the Clips and Jazz most West teams aren’t loaded at those end of bench spots.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#5 » by eminence » Tue Sep 3, 2019 6:34 pm

Dr Spaceman wrote:
eminence wrote:I'm interested to see how often they go to a 3 guard look and/or if House develops a bit to fill that 3 spot. Westbrook putting a stop to his personal slide will be important to really have a shot at 60 (I'd peg them a bit over 50, which in this West could see you anywhere from #1 to #6). Not nearly as high on their depth as you sound Spaceman. PJ is getting up there and they look pretty mediocre from 6 onwards.


Last year the starting lineup missed 58 games combined and they only had Rivers for half of the season and House for the back third. Their bench will be much improved, no Melo, and hard to see Westbrook missing 24 games like Paul did. Hard to overstate the upgrade from Melo, MCW, Marquise Chriss to the guys they’ve got now. I think a slight improvement on last year is reasonable and 60 would be at the High positive range of outcomes.

I think Gordon will start at the 3 like last year. He’s better on both ends of the floor than House. And PJ is 34 but he’s played less career minutes than Danny Green, for example. Mileage matters as age does. 7-10 is Rivers, Chandler, Green, Gary Clark/Ben Not world-beaters but Rivers is very solid and Chandler can contribute defensively and other than the Clips and Jazz most West teams aren’t loaded at those end of bench spots.


They're not terrible for bench guys, but pretty meh. I'd easily take the Denver bench over them as well. I generally agree that they took a small step forward (RS only), but I think the rest of the West stepped up a bit too, so I expect it to kind of balance out.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#6 » by JordansBulls » Wed Sep 4, 2019 2:41 am

He not getting MVP unless he has the best record in the league.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#7 » by Dr Spaceman » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:18 am

Harden just averaged 47.7 points per 100 for the preseason lol.

Don’t think it means anything other than he’s In shape and gonna sprint out the gate unlike last year. The Rockets offense looks a touch more diverse this year and is actually taking advantage of the fact they have multiple ball handlers. After Paul and Gordon went down last year the offense just became Harden walking the ball up and dribbling into a step back, and even when they got healthy the habit never broke. There’s been quite a bit more motion and off-ball screening this preseason which is great as long as they don’t revert to old habits.

Teams are sagging way off Russ and he really only has any gravity when he’s on-ball. I think this will make Harden’s game even more 3 point focused this year. I think people overstate the fit issues. D’Antoni knows how to coach offense and he clearly has Harden’s trust.

The injuries are a bummer but this team could push for high 50s win totals in the regular season. They’re gonna be good and will probably three-peat as the East half court offense again due to James’ brilliance.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#8 » by bledredwine » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:51 pm

JordansBulls wrote:He not getting MVP unless he has the best record in the league.


I’m actually thinking that he might this year.

(Have the best record)
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#9 » by thekdog34 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:12 pm

He looks out of shape
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#10 » by Dr Spaceman » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:40 pm

thekdog34 wrote:He looks out of shape


I thought he looked drunk at times last night. Like when he tried to dribble between two guys and just tripped himself at the very end. I don’t know what’s going on because he looked fantastic in preseason.

There was another weird play where he lurched for a steal in the backcourt when he was about 8 feet from the ball and then stalled for 3 seconds before sprinting all the way back on defense.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#11 » by thekdog34 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:48 pm

Dr Spaceman wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:He looks out of shape


I thought he looked drunk at times last night. Like when he tried to dribble between two guys and just tripped himself at the very end. I don’t know what’s going on because he looked fantastic in preseason.

There was another weird play where he lurched for a steal in the backcourt when he was about 8 feet from the ball and then stalled for 3 seconds before sprinting all the way back on defense.


I have worried for awhile that he has a drinking or codeine problem. Sometimes he looks unreasonably sluggish for his age and athletic ability, especially compared to his early years
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#12 » by Dr Spaceman » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:40 pm

thekdog34 wrote:
Dr Spaceman wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:He looks out of shape


I thought he looked drunk at times last night. Like when he tried to dribble between two guys and just tripped himself at the very end. I don’t know what’s going on because he looked fantastic in preseason.

There was another weird play where he lurched for a steal in the backcourt when he was about 8 feet from the ball and then stalled for 3 seconds before sprinting all the way back on defense.


I have worried for awhile that he has a drinking or codeine problem. Sometimes he looks unreasonably sluggish for his age and athletic ability, especially compared to his early years


Can I ask why you think this? Is it just that he doesn’t look sharp sometimes?

I’ve speculated he might have concussion problems in the past when he has nights where he not only can’t shoot but seems to have issues with basic depth perception and pattern recognition. That was last night. He was jsut a step behind the 8 ball in a way I can’t fully put into words

That said, I’m not gonna put it on substance abuse unless there’s some articles or info I’m missing. I know he parties but he’d honestly be one of the highest-functioning alcoholics I’ve ever seen. Usually when there’s a guy in the league with those types of problems it becomes very bvious e.g. Ty Lawson.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#13 » by thekdog34 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:36 pm

Dr Spaceman wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:
Dr Spaceman wrote:
I thought he looked drunk at times last night. Like when he tried to dribble between two guys and just tripped himself at the very end. I don’t know what’s going on because he looked fantastic in preseason.

There was another weird play where he lurched for a steal in the backcourt when he was about 8 feet from the ball and then stalled for 3 seconds before sprinting all the way back on defense.


I have worried for awhile that he has a drinking or codeine problem. Sometimes he looks unreasonably sluggish for his age and athletic ability, especially compared to his early years


Can I ask why you think this? Is it just that he doesn’t look sharp sometimes?

I’ve speculated he might have concussion problems in the past when he has nights where he not only can’t shoot but seems to have issues with basic depth perception and pattern recognition. That was last night. He was jsut a step behind the 8 ball in a way I can’t fully put into words

That said, I’m not gonna put it on substance abuse unless there’s some articles or info I’m missing. I know he parties but he’d honestly be one of the highest-functioning alcoholics I’ve ever seen. Usually when there’s a guy in the league with those types of problems it becomes very bvious e.g. Ty Lawson.


Oh I'm just speculating. But other guys who have used codeine have gained weight and been sluggish. Like jamarcus Russell.

And I don't see why alcohol use or concussions would make somebody slow in that way.

Also he's hung out with rappers who are well known to like purple drank, like Future.

But it's just a guess.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#14 » by Dr Spaceman » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:54 pm

thekdog34 wrote:
Dr Spaceman wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:
I have worried for awhile that he has a drinking or codeine problem. Sometimes he looks unreasonably sluggish for his age and athletic ability, especially compared to his early years


Can I ask why you think this? Is it just that he doesn’t look sharp sometimes?

I’ve speculated he might have concussion problems in the past when he has nights where he not only can’t shoot but seems to have issues with basic depth perception and pattern recognition. That was last night. He was jsut a step behind the 8 ball in a way I can’t fully put into words

That said, I’m not gonna put it on substance abuse unless there’s some articles or info I’m missing. I know he parties but he’d honestly be one of the highest-functioning alcoholics I’ve ever seen. Usually when there’s a guy in the league with those types of problems it becomes very bvious e.g. Ty Lawson.


Oh I'm just speculating. But other guys who have used codeine have gained weight and been sluggish. Like jamarcus Russell.

And I don't see why alcohol use or concussions would make somebody slow in that way.

Also he's hung out with rappers who are well known to like purple drank, like Future.

But it's just a guess.


Eh. If he were addicted to codeine I think he’d have flamed out a while ago. I don’t think you make it through an 82 game season with that kind of habit.

I’m less talking about him being physically sluggish and more mentally sluggish. Like how normally he’s sharp as a tack but all of a sudden he’ll have these nights where he throws passes off target or to no one in particular or doesn’t see defenders standing right in his field of vision etc. Other players have off nights but they don’t have the same struggle to seemingly focus, it’s a weird thing Harden does.

In that infamous ame 6 vs the Spurs for example, one of the first possessions he threw a ball right over Eric Gordon’s head in the corner and it was so far off target it looked like his depth perception was failing him. Or throwing the ball right into Danny Green’s chest multiple times in the same game.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#15 » by ardee » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:12 pm

Dr Spaceman wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:
Dr Spaceman wrote:
I thought he looked drunk at times last night. Like when he tried to dribble between two guys and just tripped himself at the very end. I don’t know what’s going on because he looked fantastic in preseason.

There was another weird play where he lurched for a steal in the backcourt when he was about 8 feet from the ball and then stalled for 3 seconds before sprinting all the way back on defense.


I have worried for awhile that he has a drinking or codeine problem. Sometimes he looks unreasonably sluggish for his age and athletic ability, especially compared to his early years


Can I ask why you think this? Is it just that he doesn’t look sharp sometimes?

I’ve speculated he might have concussion problems in the past when he has nights where he not only can’t shoot but seems to have issues with basic depth perception and pattern recognition. That was last night. He was jsut a step behind the 8 ball in a way I can’t fully put into words

That said, I’m not gonna put it on substance abuse unless there’s some articles or info I’m missing. I know he parties but he’d honestly be one of the highest-functioning alcoholics I’ve ever seen. Usually when there’s a guy in the league with those types of problems it becomes very bvious e.g. Ty Lawson.
He's a known gentleman's club enthusiast. Some might draw the conclusion that someone like that might also have an affinity for alcohol.

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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#16 » by Dr Spaceman » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:51 pm

ardee wrote:
Dr Spaceman wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:
I have worried for awhile that he has a drinking or codeine problem. Sometimes he looks unreasonably sluggish for his age and athletic ability, especially compared to his early years


Can I ask why you think this? Is it just that he doesn’t look sharp sometimes?

I’ve speculated he might have concussion problems in the past when he has nights where he not only can’t shoot but seems to have issues with basic depth perception and pattern recognition. That was last night. He was jsut a step behind the 8 ball in a way I can’t fully put into words

That said, I’m not gonna put it on substance abuse unless there’s some articles or info I’m missing. I know he parties but he’d honestly be one of the highest-functioning alcoholics I’ve ever seen. Usually when there’s a guy in the league with those types of problems it becomes very bvious e.g. Ty Lawson.
He's a known gentleman's club enthusiast. Some might draw the conclusion that someone like that might also have an affinity for alcohol.

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I mean he might’ve been drunk last night. That was my first thought when I was watching him. I can’t think of another good explanation.

I think codeine addiction is a gigantic stretch though and if he’s really an alcoholic he manages it better than other NBA players do. AI burned out by 31 basically.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#17 » by ardee » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:25 am

Dude is 6-40 on three for the season, Good Lord. You have to have a certain level of shamelessness to continue jacking double digit threes a game when you are going to make 15% of them.

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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#18 » by Slava » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:07 am

Man scored 40 on 22 free throws. What works does good but it must be as fun as watching late night infomercials.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#19 » by No-more-rings » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:16 am

ardee wrote:Dude is 6-40 on three for the season, Good Lord. You have to have a certain level of shamelessness to continue jacking double digit threes a game when you are going to make 15% of them.

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Plus 19 turnovers in only 3 games. Yuck.

It seems common though for Harden to start out a bit slower/lackadaisical. He’ll get it going i think and will still be a top 5 player, or top 10 at worst.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#20 » by ardee » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:50 pm

No-more-rings wrote:
ardee wrote:Dude is 6-40 on three for the season, Good Lord. You have to have a certain level of shamelessness to continue jacking double digit threes a game when you are going to make 15% of them.

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Plus 19 turnovers in only 3 games. Yuck.

It seems common though for Harden to start out a bit slower/lackadaisical. He’ll get it going i think and will still be a top 5 player, or top 10 at worst.


This is not just lackadaisical it's worst SG in the league level. He's not Shaq, he can't make an impact by just existing and being big. He needs to fix this, doubt it'll ever happen though, no one ever changes their attitude much by the time they turn 30.

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