Jalen Rose on Harden and Paul

I know many of you won’t like this, but this is perfectly fair, particularly coming from a guy who voted for Harden for MVP. There are certain characteristics of James Harden’s that are less than desirable and this is one of them. I first noticed this in a playoff game vs. Portland when the Rockets fed Dwight Howard in the post on every possession. Weirdly, Harden kept himself completely uninvolved for a stretch of a few minutes. I remember thinking it was absolutely bizarre at the time.

Understandably, Chris Paul would be upset over this. Paul’s game, especially now, is predicated upon getting other guys involved. He can’t do that effectively when playing 4 on 5. But I don’t think this means Paul has to go this offseason. Guys get into it all the time. Unless this is something that had been festering and finally boiled over.

This doesn’t mean that Harden is fatally flawed or irredeemable. Remember Kobe refusing to shoot for an entire half? But he has certain traits that you have to be mindful of. Its worthwhile baggage for having one of the greatest offensive players in the world. I don’t know that he’s suddenly going to start slashing off the ball when he doesn’t have it. You just have to put together a team around him that can hold its own on those plays he decides to take off.

But I’m completely with CP3 on this one.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

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phillip
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phillip

As a long time Rockets fan, I side with CP3 on this one. I am a Harden fan and believes he gets treated unfairly from the media but him walking up the court looking disinterested hopefully be addressed. Thanks for posting and sharing this content.

JZ13
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JZ13

This is more than fair criticism. Everyone who follows basketball regularly noticed it. I’m going to give Harden the benefit of the doubt and suggest there’s a good chance he wasn’t pouting but was rather using those possessions to catch a breather given his insane usage. However, Paul is right. It’s also true that Harden’s persistent habit at the end of games to run the shot clock down to 5-7 seconds before initiating any sort of offense when he has the ball remains a problem. Harden has improved his game every single off-season (one of the biggest reasons I’m a… Read more »

Terry
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Terry

One thing I noticed during these possessions is that they aren’t actually playing 4-5. Typically the defender is staying on Harden’s hip at half court and we were playing 4-4 on the rest. I often thought it may be a strategy that opened the court even more.

Carson
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Carson

I think the disinterest when playing off the ball also comes from deferring to another guard. We’ve seen over the years Harden’s hesitance to let another guard take the ball and go to work probably seeing it as I might as well do it myself. Example: Lin, Lawson, when Gordon is off, and now older Paul. But we would see him defer to a bigger player that could give the team a look that James can’t such as Josh Smith or Michael Beasley. I think this is where you try to go if you’re Daryl, finding one of these used… Read more »

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