The James Harden Thread (2019-20)

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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#361 » by 70sFan » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:20 am

thekdog34 wrote:Harden slows the pace down which is good for his stats but isn't good for winning.

I don't think anyone should blame Harden for that loss, his teammates played terribly throughout the series and Westbrook at times was straight liability.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#362 » by thekdog34 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:28 am

70sFan wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:Harden slows the pace down which is good for his stats but isn't good for winning.

I don't think anyone should blame Harden for that loss, his teammates played terribly throughout the series and Westbrook at times was straight liability.


Maybe so, but it is the one who demanded cp3 get traded for Westbrook
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#363 » by CKRT » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:59 am

thekdog34 wrote:
70sFan wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:Harden slows the pace down which is good for his stats but isn't good for winning.

I don't think anyone should blame Harden for that loss, his teammates played terribly throughout the series and Westbrook at times was straight liability.


Maybe so, but it is the one who demanded cp3 get traded for Westbrook


Yeah, Harden shares some blame for wanting Westbrook. Like most players, he shouldn't be involved with roster decisions short of the FO seeing what he thinks about another player.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#364 » by 70sFan » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:01 am

thekdog34 wrote:
70sFan wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:Harden slows the pace down which is good for his stats but isn't good for winning.

I don't think anyone should blame Harden for that loss, his teammates played terribly throughout the series and Westbrook at times was straight liability.


Maybe so, but it is the one who demanded cp3 get traded for Westbrook

That's why players shouldn't have the power to influence team structure in such a big way. You can blame Harden for off-court behavior, but he delivered on the court.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#365 » by MisterHibachi » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:17 am

70sFan wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:
70sFan wrote:I don't think anyone should blame Harden for that loss, his teammates played terribly throughout the series and Westbrook at times was straight liability.


Maybe so, but it is the one who demanded cp3 get traded for Westbrook

That's why players shouldn't have the power to influence team structure in such a big way. You can blame Harden for off-court behavior, but he delivered on the court.


But he was trash in game 4, which is the game that really mattered in terms of making this series competitive.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#366 » by JordansBulls » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:26 am

I wonder how they would have done if they still had Kevin Mchale as coach instead.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#367 » by Pelly24 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:01 am

I don't blame Harden for losing to the Lakers. But he did lay a dud in the most important game so this one didn't even feel like it mattered.

I'm not really sure what I think of him at this point. I don't see him as being as good as his stats suggest. Give me Kobe any day and DWade too for that matter.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#368 » by 70sFan » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:30 am

MisterHibachi wrote:
70sFan wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:
Maybe so, but it is the one who demanded cp3 get traded for Westbrook

That's why players shouldn't have the power to influence team structure in such a big way. You can blame Harden for off-court behavior, but he delivered on the court.


But he was trash in game 4, which is the game that really mattered in terms of making this series competitive.

1. Every playoff game matters. They were already down 2-1 with two straight blowouts in which Harden played well. Even if they would have won game 4, that wouldn't have changed the outcome.

2. Harden shot badly in that game, but he still finished with 10 assists and he was doubled more than in any other game. You could argue that he should have been more agressive, but in reality the reason why Houston lost is because they lost 52 to 26 on the boards.

3. One bad shooting game happens against good defensive teams in playoffs. Overall, Harden still finished with absurd production despite Lakers trying to take the ball away from his hands. He was doubled very often and Lakers didn't care about the rest of the team, yet he still finished with 29 ppg on 66 TS%. He was unguardable that series, Lakers guards were hopeless against his drives.

4. Who do you think would have done better than him in this scenario? I don't think even Michael Jordan would have won this series, especially given how terrible Westbrook was throughout the playoffs.

I'm usually against Harden, because I don't like his style and I hate watching this version of Houston team (or any Houston team from 2017 really) but I can't deny that Harden played well. He's one of the best offensive players ever and he played like so in 2020 playoffs. He also finally moved his ass on defense and it's the first time when I can clearly say that he was above average defensively and teams couldn't take advantage of his laziness.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#369 » by frica » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:55 am

Harden wasn't the problem.
He had a good playoff run and didn't break down like in previous runs.

You just can't expect too much when a player like Westbrook eats up most of the budget.
It's a badly structured team, Harden with a few extra good roleplayers would have fared better than just having Westbrick out there.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#370 » by eminence » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:11 pm

frica wrote:Harden wasn't the problem.
He had a good playoff run and didn't break down like in previous runs.

You just can't expect too much when a player like Westbrook eats up most of the budget.
It's a badly structured team, Harden with a few extra good roleplayers would have fared better than just having Westbrick out there.


Harden was the reason Westbrook was out there...
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#371 » by LukaTheGOAT » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:19 pm

Dupp wrote:Does someone know how the Capela trade had effected hardens output? Like has the extra space led to more shots at the rim and free throws? Or has the lack of a lob threat made it a little harder or are things basically the same?

Did Houston’s offense overall get much of a bump? What about their d?


The Rockets offense actually hasn't been that great, but their defense has been good considering their size. ;t=122s
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#372 » by 70sFan » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:31 pm

LukaTheGOAT wrote:
Dupp wrote:Does someone know how the Capela trade had effected hardens output? Like has the extra space led to more shots at the rim and free throws? Or has the lack of a lob threat made it a little harder or are things basically the same?

Did Houston’s offense overall get much of a bump? What about their d?


The Rockets offense actually hasn't been that great, but their defense has been good considering their size. ;t=122s

Their defense wasn't good against the Lakers though.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#373 » by Dupp » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:38 pm

70sFan wrote:
LukaTheGOAT wrote:
Dupp wrote:Does someone know how the Capela trade had effected hardens output? Like has the extra space led to more shots at the rim and free throws? Or has the lack of a lob threat made it a little harder or are things basically the same?

Did Houston’s offense overall get much of a bump? What about their d?


The Rockets offense actually hasn't been that great, but their defense has been good considering their size. ;t=122s

Their defense wasn't good against the Lakers though.



It started well. You could tell how much the size and probably lack of rotations wore on Houston though. The rebounding numbers were respectable and then the last two games they just blew them out.


Pretty tough task a team of midgets going against an AD/lebron front court. Two highly skilled all round massive guys.

They weren’t put in a position to succeed.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#374 » by frica » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:23 am

I honestly thought Harden would gas out like usual after that tough series vs OKC.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#375 » by thekdog34 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:11 pm

Rockets had a 108 ORTG in the playoffs, pretty middle of the pack. Harden put up better stats than he did 2016-19, but again the team offense sputtered in this style they play. Doesn't seem to translate from the regular season.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#376 » by Slava » Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:11 pm

thekdog34 wrote:Rockets had a 108 ORTG in the playoffs, pretty middle of the pack. Harden put up better stats than he did 2016-19, but again the team offense sputtered in this style they play. Doesn't seem to translate from the regular season.


Looking at offensive rating for the playoffs isn't very informative when 5/12 games came against the best defense in the playoffs.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#377 » by thekdog34 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:25 pm

Slava wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:Rockets had a 108 ORTG in the playoffs, pretty middle of the pack. Harden put up better stats than he did 2016-19, but again the team offense sputtered in this style they play. Doesn't seem to translate from the regular season.


Looking at offensive rating for the playoffs isn't very informative when 5/12 games came against the best defense in the playoffs.


But the Rockets were the #6 offense in the regular season and played 7 games against the Thunder.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#378 » by RCM88x » Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:43 pm

IMO Harden probably has his best and most consistent playoff run in Houston yet. Not sure if that's actually true, but he seemed to have fewer 8/24 shooting type games where he only seems to score at the FT line. Regardless, maybe it was small ball that helped him be more efficient, maybe it was something of a personal improvement and mentality change, could just be the rest pre-bubble that allowed him to go into the postseason fresher than he's been able to in the past. I was actually impressed with how he was able to hold the team together despite the Lakers defensive really clamping down and making it difficult for him. RW and Gordon basically offered nothing in terms of secondary playmaking support.

Overall the hyper-small ball I think really limited the teams ceiling, they just didn't ever seem to have that gear where they could clamp down on a team and turn stops into easy buckets on the other end. They just had to play such a different game than any other team really has before and it hurt them, especially making the change midway thru the season. PJ really seemed beat down in the Lakers series despite the amount of rest that was available, maybe he was just out of shape and had a hard time adjusting, but regardless I don't think that bodes well for PJ playing the 4/5 full time going forward. It is nice for a change of pace but it cannot be your primary scheme.

I'm interested to see where this team goes in the future, they have talent but really need a true 4/5 sort of guy to glue the defense together and give them an interior scoring option for easy buckets. RW obviously needs to stay healthy, hopefully that remains possible, but being optimistic is hard there.
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#379 » by G35 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:14 pm

Dupp wrote:
70sFan wrote:
LukaTheGOAT wrote:
The Rockets offense actually hasn't been that great, but their defense has been good considering their size. ;t=122s

Their defense wasn't good against the Lakers though.



It started well. You could tell how much the size and probably lack of rotations wore on Houston though. The rebounding numbers were respectable and then the last two games they just blew them out.


Pretty tough task a team of midgets going against an AD/lebron front court. Two highly skilled all round massive guys.

They weren’t put in a position to succeed.



You can't say, "Look how great the Rockets defense was against the Thunder!" and then later "This midget defense was not optimal against the Lakers"

No kidding...that is why you do not go down that road because the ceiling is lower. It sure helps the offense look good because you have all those shooters on the court.....
I'm so tired of the typical......
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Re: The James Harden Thread (2019-20) 

Post#380 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:35 pm

CKRT wrote:
thekdog34 wrote:
70sFan wrote:I don't think anyone should blame Harden for that loss, his teammates played terribly throughout the series and Westbrook at times was straight liability.


Maybe so, but it is the one who demanded cp3 get traded for Westbrook


Yeah, Harden shares some blame for wanting Westbrook. Like most players, he shouldn't be involved with roster decisions short of the FO seeing what he thinks about another player.


"shouldn't" is an important word here.

The idea that a star worker wouldn't carry a ton of influence on the context around him is just naive. It's more extreme in the NBA, but it exists in any walk of life and it is always a part of how we evaluate that worker. I'm a teacher, in my profession we'd call that being a "good colleague", "good professional", "campus leader", and every single campus has people who are amazing in the classroom but are negatives outside of that, and has many, many people who are just run-of-the-mill in the classroom (no special charisma, humor, etc) but carry themselves like professionals at all times.

But clearly Harden shouldn't be involved with roster decisions because he thought trading for Westbrook was a good idea. OKC should have been completely unable to trade Westbrook. Period. There's no player whose contract is that big and whose game is so glaringly problematic as it ages as Westbrook. Like, there's probably NEVER been a player this glaring in the history of the game. No hyperbole.

That doesn't mean the Rockets can't trade Westbrook now, because other desperate teams exist and they might think that anything is better than what they have, but whoever trades for Westbrook now will be foolish, no doubt about it.

Back to Harden and player-GMs. I personally welcome factoring this stuff in to my player rankings. It's a challenge to be sure. How do you add on and off court impact together? But it's a challenge that GMs have to deal with, therefore it's what's real. By contrast, questions of who is better purely on the court are fan-only territory, and thus are less real and meaningful by my perspective.

Last note: I always say, and still insist: I'm a Harden fan. He's a local boy i've been cheering on for a long time, and I still maintain that he's the single cleverest one-on-one player in the history of the sport. He's long proven himself to be a high IQ guy on and off the sport in a sense of displaying aptitude for IQ-like things. But man, did he blow with the Paul-Westbrook thing, and I can't imagine he's happy now.
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