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On James Harden and Team USA

Surely you’ve heard by now that James Harden declared himself to be the best all-around player in the game, some days ago.  Much has been made of the comment, but I personally don’t see a problem.  Obviously, the statement isn’t factually correct, but what does it matter?  I want my best player to exude confidence.  That’s a far more preferable scenario than the one in which the early 2000′s Kings found themselves when their star player, Chris Webber, literally ran away from the ball late in games, deferring to Mike Bibby.  You could counter this shows a lack of self-awareness, but I’d offer that maybe this means higher expectations.

But anyways, of greater personal interest were Coach K’s comments about Harden’s leadership with Team USA.  Maybe they’re true?  Maybe they’re a motivating technique?  (Remember how Jeff Van Gundy would routinely praise Kelvin Cato?)  In any event, as I’ve been saying for some time now, the experience this summer can only be a good thing for James.  When Kevin Durant pulled out from the team, I’ll be honest: I secretly hoped Harden would as well.  Seeing Paul George take the spill he did left a lasting impression, and it has not been fun holding my breath afterward every time Harden has driven the lane.  But players can get hurt anywhere.  True, the basket support was directly contributory in George’s case, but you can land awkwardly on the blacktop at Rucker as well.

Durant leaving was sort of a blessing.  Remember the stories about Lebron James getting to see how hard Kobe Bryant worked day in and day out after their summer together?  That wasn’t going to happen here as Harden and Durant are already familiar.  But now, Harden is establishing himself as the go-to player on a team comprised of some of the best in the world.  And he’s learning the way to win under a coach he purportedly respects.  This overall experience, and the confidence borne from it, can be nothing but positive.

If Harden comes back focused, transformed, maybe that’s better than any transaction Morey could have made.  He looks much trimmer in these games.  And as I noted earlier in the week, Dwight Howard already seems locked in.

We’ve been focusing on the personnel game for some years now.  But player transformation has been the traditional path to success.  Hakeem finding inner peace and trust in his teammates.  Lebron reinventing his game.  Harden can be the second best player in this conference.  If he puts in work on the defensive end, he will be.

To date, I like what I’m seeing thus far.  If you asked me now, I’m expecting a big year.

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Total comments: 45
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    JG, how much of those numbers are because there is a shortage of ELITE 2 guards in the nba compared to the other positions. Most good guards are PGs now. Also, when teams attack us they have Jones to go after before they go after Harden.

    This has been brought up before. Context always matters. Aside from what you've mentioned, PER favors points, assists, and rebounds very heavily. If Harden is guarding a spot up shooter than 2 of those three categories almost completely vanish.

    I would argue this was the biggest problem with Harden's defense last season. Over-helping in the lane, essentially to no effect, lead to many open looks for guys who make a living knocking down open looks from 3. The back door cuts were annoying, but the thing that I think altered the outcome of games more is the open threes.

    I would counter your statement a bit regarding the state of 2 guards in this league. There is a difference between elite and "star" players. Omer Asik is elite and I think it is safe to say he is no star.

    Here's a list of 2 guards that I think are worthy of our respect:

    Dwyane Wade

    Goran Dragic (he spends most of his time there)

    Manu Ginobili

    DeMar DeRozan

    Monta Ellis

    Kevin Martin (Still highly effective except the last 5 minutes)

    Aaron Afflalo

    Vince Carter

    JJ Redick

    Gerald Green

    Joe Johnson

    Lance Stephenson

    Jamal Crawford

    Bradley Beal

    Klay Thompson

    OK, let's stop there.....but look at the names I left off....

    Kyle Korver

    Jimmy Butler

    Dion Waiters

    Danny Green

    Victor Oladipo

    Eric Gordon

    Randy Foye (turns the ball over too much, but can light it up from deep)

    Ray Allen

    OJ Mayo

    Gerald Henderson

    Tony Wroten

    Courtney Lee

    Those guys are good....and they didn't make the top tier...now look at the list below them...

    Wesley Matthews

    Marco Belinelli

    JR Smith

    Anthony Morrow

    Gerald Henderson

    Tim Hardaway Jr.

    Marcus Thornton

    James Anderson

    Thabo Sefolosha

    Evan Fournier

    Iman Shumpert

    Ben McLemore

    We could probably split that group above into two...I don't feel like all those guys are on the same level, but the point stands. There are a lot of quality 2 guards in the NBA. All of those guys in the top group are capable of dominating games one way or the other. I know there aren't many guys like Harden, LBJ, Melo, Durant, etc (That is going to change as more and more teams plug in a PG or combo-guard at the 2), but look at that second group and think to yourself, "man, those guys can all light it up....and they're Group 2!!!! Those Group 1 guys can all flat out school you on any given night!"

    The league has it's "stars", but don't let that take away from what, to me, is a solid group of 2 guards. I mean, you are talking about guys who, for the most part, are in the NBA based on one ability:shooting/scoring the ball. So, in one regard it should come as no surprise that Harden's defensive assignments score well. This in no way means I think he is faultless in the matter.

    As to your point about teams attacking Jones--there is deeper context to consider here. First, your other point somewhat nullifies this one (if one believes it is true)--that 2 guard is a weak position largely in this league. Pair that with the fact that PF is fairly strong....especially considering LBJ, Melo, KLove, Blake Griffin, Duncan, Pau, Randolph, Davis, Nene, Dirk, LMA, Millsap are out there.....followed by the likes of David Lee, Ryan Anderson, Markieff Morris, Greg Monroe, David West, Taj Gibson, Amir Johnson, Carlos Boozer, and Boris Diaw. All of those dudes can initiate their own offense and are utilized by their teams to do so regardless of opponent. Thus, it skews the thing again. Yes, teams attack from the PF position....but they were going to do that anyways....not just because Jones is out there.

    Your point that Harden defends less because of the PF position holds some water. Ultimately, we all know it's the team defense that needs work so his "personal PER" is of little consequence. We know what the deal is far better than PER ever could because we actually see what happens.

  • thenit says 1 month ago In regards of opposing SG, harden usually ends up guarding the weakest player of the wing players and most of those players are the opposing spot up shooter. Lin is also in the same category as harden as below average defender and doesn't have the size against SG. The difference is Lin is what he is, but harden has the tool to actually be a very good defender when he does focus. Hopefully he will mature and the world championship this summer will change that for the better.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago I think Harden is underrated as a defender because he's portrayed as the worst of all time. I just think he's a below average defender who struggles because of ball watching and other things you can't do with team defense. I've seen him play on ball defense that was pretty darn good. But the next play he'd give up a layup because he allowed his man to cut to the hoop because he was watching the PG dribble. Hopefully he can focus on improving these relatively minor problems and become a legit 2 way player.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago JG, how much of those numbers are because there is a shortage of ELITE 2 guards in the nba compared to the other positions. Most good guards are PGs now. Also, when teams attack us they have Jones to go after before they go after Harden.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    Great find JG. I wonder where the writer got the defensive PER numbers from. I would not mind seeing other positional PER numbers.

    The only place I have ever seen them is 82games.com. It appears this is his source as well.

    I will advise to take their stats with a grain of salt. I have never been fully confident in their diligence/accuracy and some of their stats are not explained well--at least in my experience.

    Still, click around. They have lots of stuff. :)

  • Losthief says 1 month ago

    A very fair article about Mr. Harden. It focuses on his defense and whether or not that prohibits him from being a star. LINK

    Here is a teaser...

    That should get the ball rolling... ;)

    thanks for posting the link good read:

    one thing that struck me as I read it, I really think we need to see harden on defense playing a lot more sfs. He has the bulk and is a solid post defender (better than picks and especially screens) and I think that will really really help him (speed advantage to close out after picks/screens will help versus slower/bigger players)*. Parsons was too slow laterally to stay with sgs, ariza isn't so that could really really help alot this year assuming mchale notices/thinks of it.

    *this does not apply to the elite sfs ofc, harden is not slowing down say...lebron but who does.

  • Willk says 1 month ago

    A very fair article about Mr. Harden. It focuses on his defense and whether or not that prohibits him from being a star. LINK

    Here is a teaser...


    That should get the ball rolling... ;)


    Great find JG. I wonder where the writer got the defensive PER numbers from. I would not mind seeing other positional PER numbers.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    A very fair article about Mr. Harden. It focuses on his defense and whether or not that prohibits him from being a star. LINK

    Here is a teaser...

    So how bad was Harden on the defensive end? Harden’s opponents PER was 13.9 at the shooting guard position. That means he actually held his opponent below the league average of 15.0. The Rockets did however surrender more points to opponents shooting guards than any team in the league last year.

    Jeremy Linhad something to do with that as well, as he was often Harden’s backup playing withPatrick Beverleywhen Harden rested. Lin’s opponent’s PER when at shooting guard was 17.4 and when Lin wasn’t in, it wasFrancisco Garcia, who came in at 15.1.

    That should get the ball rolling... ;)

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago I think what would help harden out would be a legit backcourt partner. Bev cannot initiate offense that well(but he might have improved). The last two champions had two or more great ball handlers

    2014 - Ginobili, Parker, Mills(to a lesser extent).
    2012-2013 - James, Wade

    Maybe it's coincidence that they won, but I think having those extra ball handlers allows them to not let the ball get "sticky".
  • Losthief says 1 month ago

    i left off davis too (big oversight as he was my 3rd of the possible 4). So....yeah thats what i get for doing it off the top of my head sry. If you want to swap LMA in for say Klove or someone else im OK with that, i like Klove more...but thats just me. LMA had a great matchup against us in the playoffs.

    ****offically substituting rose out for davis cause...well he hasn't looked fully healthy during fiba...and i forgot davis somehow....*smacks head* ****

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago No LMA?
  • Losthief says 1 month ago

    I guess I just don't have a clue as a long-time Rockets fan.

    For Harden and Howard to be completely dissed in this post is, well, par for the course on this board.

    It's OK to be critical, I understand that.

    But to say that particular poster far enjoyed watching T-Mac when the Rockets had 0 chance, no chance of making any noise in the playoffs to THIS team lead by Harden and Howard just simply leaves me scratching my head and wondering why the hell I even bother to post here.

    When did i diss Harden or Howard in my post? Please read more carefully if your going to criticize. All i said is casual fans (aka non-rockets fans, so not me or you or really anyone who would bother to register and post on a rockets forum) probably enjoy some other top talents aesthetically more in a vacuum. Which let me phrase another way for you:

    First disregard the emotional investment in winning. Now, T-macs style (along with other players) was more captivating than H&H in this said vacuum. This is also true for Duncan, who is clearly to me the best player of this era but hardly gets mentioned in that conversation, cause again, he's not as 'pretty' to watch as Lebron/Kobe/Durant/et al.

    Now, me personally 'the poster', I am emotionally invested, also I happen to like watching Howard (and other big men) play defense alot, so again I enjoy watching H&H way more than other players. For example, i literally fast forwarded every part of the fiba games harden was on the bench, sure those other guys can play but I could care less about them in that tournament, but I would probably bother to watch harden play a pick up game on grainy cell phone feed on youtube just cause I want to see where he's at physically, skill-wise, etc etc. at all times. He's on my team so he's immediately more important than other players cause I don't watch in a vacuum. Now that said I also enjoyed watching T-Mac when he played and was still relatively healthy, but I enjoy watching the present rockets just as much.

    Finally, your revisionist history on the t-mac/yao era expectations is astounding. T-mac was a top 3 player (when acquired) and Yao was a potentially top 3 offense center (and a force). Health, bench, etc derailed those teams not talent. Sure they had 0 chance in hindsight, but at the time they were considered at least pseudo-contenders (which is where H&H Rockets are at right now).

    I mean they were considered the next contenders for the rockets in the mold of:

    Malone's Rockets

    Sampson/Dream Twin Tower Rockets

    Dream (Drexler) Rockets

    Dream/Pippen/Barkley Rockets (****i mean how did this not make it even a year, sigh....)

    T-Mac/Yao Rockets

    Yao/T-Mac/Artest Rockets

    Now Harden/Howard Rockets

    Just cause only Malone's and Dream's teams got to the finals (and only Dream won) doesn't mean expectations weren't equal for the other groups in there respective times.

    p.s. im guessing the 'criticism' of H&H is the top 10-15 player comment? All that means is that they are among the top 10 or at largest top 15 players in the league, so they are somewhere in 1,2,3,etc to 15. Not that they are 15 better players than them. Honestly imo (just my opinion) anyone in the top 10 (and maybe the top 15) can be the best player in any given series of 7 games (yes, even over say, Lebron, look what Dirk did). It's not a criticism to say someone is a top 15 player, and to have two of them literally means that they are only 13 left out there for 29 teams, which is in what way a criticism or critique or even limit on the rockets?

    So in conclusion, do I think Howard or Harden can be a best player on a championship team, absolutely, do I think there are about 15 of those guys in the league at this point, absolutely. Does that mean I think less of H&H, no.

    in no particular order for example:

    1. Howard

    2. Harden

    3. Lebron

    4. Durant

    5. Westbrook

    6. Paul

    7. Griffin

    8. Curry

    9. Rose (if he returns to pre-injury form fully)

    10. Carmelo

    11. Dirk

    12. Duncan

    13. Parker

    14. Klove

    15. George

    Now, you could probably condense that to 10 (which I still think both H&H would be in it, but 15 feels about right for the guys able to be the best player alive for 4 out of 7 games). Now would i trade either of our guys for more than maybe 3 or possibly 4 of those guys, no, and the ones I would even think about are all cause of age not talent outside of durant and lebron.

  • rocketrick says 1 month ago Not to mention the fact that it is burned in my brain that something like 75-80% of Rockets fans at that time absolutely wanted The Dream to be traded yesterday, and how come it was taking so long because no chance Dream can ever be the leader that takes the Rockets to a title (much less two in a row).
  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    I would argue that the Hakeem criticism was far less since the internet was in its infancy at the time. There were not fan forums like this. If you wanted to vent about a player you had to sit on hold forever trying to get on a talk radio show.


    And so that obviously made it "more acceptable" at that time to be a Dream critic?

    Wow. I am speechless.
  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    @rick

    So I guess two wrongs make it right? U.S should coast through a world championship and if they didn't win, the "blame" would fall on those who play poorly.

    Harden is great but when you are a superstar you get the praise and the blame when the team doesn't succeed.
    Example look at most championship winning teams, the stars get the praise and also the criticism if they don't succeed because they will always have the most impact on a teams success. If we ever win, you bet that harden would get most of the accolades and the role players will barely be mentioned.


    Except that it's clear, very clear, the USA first team simply sat out this tournament.

    Yes, Harden is a superstar. My point being a significant number of "experts" predicted Spain would triumph over the second-hand team the USA formed for this foray.

    And if you even bother to read 1/10 of the posts on this board about Harden, you would know that people KILL to find a reason to blame Harden, laugh at Harden, despise Harden, choose to throw Harden into the trash heap, etc.

    That was my simple point.

    Very quiet on these boards while the USA and Harden were cleaning up in FIBA. Only because the USA was so dominant.
  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    As fans, especially of other teams i would guess, their 90% as JVG was talking about for the two rockets cornerstones are not as aesthetically pleasing in a vacuum. Thus, their faults get glossed over a bit less than say...a high flyer like Vince Carter in Toronto, Chris Paul nowadays, or even McGrady in his Houston years. Because what those players do flashes and entertains more; the 10% is focused on less.

    Yet, for H and H watching free throws and fouls (And god forbid any casual fan pay much attention to defensive positioning and moving your post opponent out of his spots) isn't as flashy or engaging so the bad 10% every player has shines a little brighter for H and H than say...durant's ability to turn his hips on d or lebron's average (look it up if you doubt me) free throw shooting.

    Just my theory


    I guess I just don't have a clue as a long-time Rockets fan.

    For Harden and Howard to be completely dissed in this post is, well, par for the course on this board.

    It's OK to be critical, I understand that.

    But to say that particular poster far enjoyed watching T-Mac when the Rockets had 0 chance, no chance of making any noise in the playoffs to THIS team lead by Harden and Howard just simply leaves me scratching my head and wondering why the hell I even bother to post here.
  • Johnny Rocket says 1 month ago

    I actually saw some of the game today. Harden was great, and while he occasionally lost his man on defense, he showed excellent effort and was quite good at using his quick hands to disrupt passing lanes. I also liked the fact that when the drive wasn't there, he calmly rotated the ball to Irving or Thompson.

  • Losthief says 1 month ago

    I would add that although both Howard and Harden are very very very effective players, top 10-15 players easily, they are not necessarily the most pleasurable or elegant to watch.

    Harden's elitism on offense shows itself most in his shot selection, and forays to the rim where he draws fouls. (also his pocket passing is excellent especially on the pick and roll, but i find that elegant so left it out of my point).

    Howard's elitism continues to move more towards positioning, speed (for his position), and balance instead of freak athleticism and jumping from his younger days.

    As fans, especially of other teams i would guess, their 90% as JVG was talking about for the two rockets cornerstones are not as aesthetically pleasing in a vacuum. Thus, their faults get glossed over a bit less than say...a high flyer like Vince Carter in Toronto, Chris Paul nowadays, or even McGrady in his Houston years. Because what those players do flashes and entertains more; the 10% is focused on less.

    Yet, for H and H watching free throws and fouls (And god forbid any casual fan pay much attention to defensive positioning and moving your post opponent out of his spots) isn't as flashy or engaging so the bad 10% every player has shines a little brighter for H and H than say...durant's ability to turn his hips on d or lebron's average (look it up if you doubt me) free throw shooting.

    Just my theory

  • thenit says 1 month ago @rick

    So I guess two wrongs make it right? U.S should coast through a world championship and if they didn't win, the "blame" would fall on those who play poorly.

    Harden is great but when you are a superstar you get the praise and the blame when the team doesn't succeed.
    Example look at most championship winning teams, the stars get the praise and also the criticism if they don't succeed because they will always have the most impact on a teams success. If we ever win, you bet that harden would get most of the accolades and the role players will barely be mentioned.
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 month ago Though we should always try to be civil I don't blame Rick here especially considering all the extreme case Lin fans we had to suffer through last year. Some of us who are perceived as Harden apologists actually don't mind criticism of Harden but it should be balanced. What is unreasonable is primarily or only ever spending time on topics that criticize Harden. I would like to see diverse topics that are balanced but I rarely ever see regular positive conversations that would balance the regular criticism. Credit to Rahat for staying relatively balanced.

    Last season Jeff Van Gundy did an interview on the Lowe Post and I'll paraphrase what he said below:

    You can spend most of your time appreciating the 90% of good things a player does or you can spend most of your time obsessing over 10% of bad things the player does.


    Though Van Gundy was speaking about Westbrook in a way it is relevant here. Look guys I'm realistic and I know the Harden conversation won't balance itself out till he wins deep in the post season but it's just boring to hear forum members beat the same drum over and over, I guess some of you think that about me. Ha!
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    Really? And just who else on this board truly believes in Harden going forward?

    The Harden criticism is only topped by the Hakeem criticism 2-3 years before he figured everything out and lead the Rockets to back to back Championships.

    Just really pathetic and I have no clue why I even bother to try and supposedly contribute on this board...........

    All I can say is I will be there in my seats rooting for my team while the majority of the rest of you will simply continue to be a negative influence on my team, the Rockets.

    I would argue that the Hakeem criticism was far less since the internet was in its infancy at the time. There were not fan forums like this. If you wanted to vent about a player you had to sit on hold forever trying to get on a talk radio show.

  • rocketrick says 1 month ago Really? And just who else on this board truly believes in Harden going forward?

    The Harden criticism is only topped by the Hakeem criticism 2-3 years before he figured everything out and lead the Rockets to back to back Championships.

    Just really pathetic and I have no clue why I even bother to try and supposedly contribute on this board...........

    All I can say is I will be there in my seats rooting for my team while the majority of the rest of you will simply continue to be a negative influence on my team, the Rockets.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago Why is criticism hate? Everybody agrees that harden is a top 10 player, probably top 5. There are legitimate flaws in his game and just because some point that out doesn't mean they hate harden. That's what I dislike about posts like yours. Unlike JG you cannot hold a civil discussion. You resort to calling others haters or trolls rather than just saying you disagree.

    If I was to respond in the same manner you do I would call you an apologist who obviously thinks harden is the GOAT and does not deserve any criticism.

    Can we stop this nonsense?
  • rocketrick says 1 month ago OK, so if our team (USA) fell short, who would have taken the most blame?

    I have no doubt that would have been "our" James Harden.

    Of course, the critics have been silent as the USA continues to blow out international team after team.

    Still, it does give me pause, the thought that if the USA happened to lose a heartbreaker, the automatic blame would clearly fall on James Harden


    Just so frustrating to me personally to continue to try to be positive when there are so many multiple Harden haters on this board.

    When the USA wins the FIBA Championship on Sunday, Harden will likely receive ZERO (0) credit as the Team Leader.

    Whereas if the USA happened to fail, well of course the Harden Hate would be at a peak on these boards, probably moreso since that horrible loss to Portland, at Portland, in Game 6 a few short months ago
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    Anyone else hear that Harden was playing through an injury the ENTIRE season, so he had to give up something in order to even be on the court? Decent explanation if his defense improves this season.

    I did not hear that. You got a source?

    I know his feet (or at least one of them) were a nagging injury, but they never really let on how severe that was. Most players get dinged up throughout the season--kind of hard not to. Still, a foot injury is tough given that there is no way to hide it nor avoid it without sitting out entirely.

  • Steven says 1 month ago Anyone else hear that Harden was playing through an injury the ENTIRE season, so he had to give up something in order to even be on the court? Decent explanation if his defense improves this season.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick

    I will agree some have handled him harshly, but I don't think anybody is talking about getting rid of him. some of the criticism is because of Harden's own words, but I don't think that part of the criticism is unfair. asking the man to play some defense isn't out of line. maybe you're only reading at the times he is being heavily criticize, but some have defended him here too.

  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick
    placing Harden under the bus would be stretching the truth a bit. I have been critical of him, but only in the sense I want to see him improve and I think he is capable of doing that. Harden deserves some of the criticism. it's not that he's hated...just the opposite.


    I probably was a bit harsh in my "under the bus" comments.

    However, I have read more times than I wish to count how selfish Harden is, how lazy Harden is, how he is more interested in his individual statistics rather than team success, how immature he is on and on and on and on.

    Much moreso than Rockets fans appreciating the fact we have the premier SG in the NBA on our roster.

    Particularly since Harden was not a regular starter until he was traded to the Rockets about 22 months ago.

    I believe those that thought Harden could have all the answers and be the perfect player, teammate, etc. after such a short period of time are missing the forest for the trees, so to speak.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick

    placing Harden under the bus would be stretching the truth a bit. I have been critical of him, but only in the sense I want to see him improve and I think he is capable of doing that. Harden deserves some of the criticism. it's not that he's hated...just the opposite.

  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    Officially, it's 12 playoff games as a Rocket. We played 6 games vs. OKC.


    I stand corrected! The first 6 playoff games as "the man" and the next 6 playoff games teaming up for the first time with D12.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Harden has played a total of 10 NBA playoff games as a Rocket, the first 4 as a #8 seed vs. OKC.

    Unbelievable how many on this site have already clearly placed Harden "under the bus" and backed up 2-3 times like that crazy lady in Clear Lake about 10 years ago that ran over her husband while driving a Mercedes. Ironic.

    Officially, it's 12 playoff games as a Rocket. We played 6 games vs. OKC.

  • rocketrick says 2 months ago Harden has played a total of 10 NBA playoff games as a Rocket, the first 4 as a #8 seed vs. OKC.

    Unbelievable how many on this site have already clearly placed Harden "under the bus" and backed up 2-3 times like that crazy lady in Clear Lake about 10 years ago that ran over her husband while driving a Mercedes. Ironic.
  • Lucas Daniel Uribe says 2 months ago I hear you man. As soon as PG 13 went down with that injury I just hoped Harden would take it easy. I respect coach K just as much as the next man. He learning from the best coaches in all of Basketball. Coach Thibs better push for James Harden to be one of the two-way player in the NBA. He is saying comments that he is the best player in the NBA, he just has to show us on the court come Playoffs. #RedNation
  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    it's really hard for me to get overly excited about Harden's great play with team USA. Harden has been a capable defender of some time now. focus is the problem. coach K has him focused, but can our coach do the same?

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Who know who is clueless, JG is clueless. Standing on his moderator soapbox. Come back down to us commoners once in awhile mr. moderator man. ;)

    But that's what double standards are for. B)

  • Steven says 2 months ago Who know who is clueless, JG is clueless. Standing on his moderator soapbox. Come back down to us commoners once in awhile mr. moderator man. ;)
  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago I'm excited to see james harden improve and be even better next year.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Gentlemen...

    double-standards.png

    Let's keep this about James Harden and basketball, please.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago I didn't call you clueless, but since that's the first thing that popped into your head, that's interesting.
  • rocketrick says 2 months ago

    There's the he can't play defense because he shoulders too much offense argument again.


    That's right, I am so glad you cleared that up.

    I am clueless after 30+ years as a diehard Rockets fan.

    So glad to pass the torch on to others no matter what they happen to have experienced and know for a FACT
  • Red94 says 2 months ago

    Awwww Rahat, I can't believe you wanted James Harden to leave Team USA! I know I'm the odd man out here but I am pretty excited for FIBA World Cup and to have a Rocket as one of the leaders of the team is pretty exciting in my book.

    I still think Harden has one more year of pushing too hard and making mistakes. I am thinking there will be another year of heartbreak and a brutal end as Harden comes up short again. I think in 2016 Harden will begin to play more within himself and trust his teammates more, let the game come to him when it matters most (crunchtime and playoffs). The process might begin this season but I'm thinking the season after is when he really begins entering his emotional prime where it still converges with his physical prime.

    I agree - the best for Harden is yet to come. He will age very gracefully. Problem is, Dwight is getting older..

  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago There's the he can't play defense because he shoulders too much offense argument again.
  • rocketrick says 2 months ago

    Awwww Rahat, I can't believe you wanted James Harden to leave Team USA! I know I'm the odd man out here but I am pretty excited for FIBA World Cup and to have a Rocket as one of the leaders of the team is pretty exciting in my book.

    I still think Harden has one more year of pushing too hard and making mistakes. I am thinking there will be another year of heartbreak and a brutal end as Harden comes up short again. I think in 2016 Harden will begin to play more within himself and trust his teammates more, let the game come to him when it matters most (crunchtime and playoffs). The process might begin this season but I'm thinking the season after is when he really begins entering his emotional prime where it still converges with his physical prime.


    FIBA World Cup should help mature Harden and prove to all of us that the other skills he has, because of roster limitations here (Rockets), simply are forced to be in the background as he is relied upon to do much more with less as a Rocket.
  • John P says 2 months ago

    it seems like the best option we have at this point is for H and H to just start playing well and having fun together. if there is any apparent hesitation on the part of FAs to come to this team because of chemistry issues, that is where we can nip that in the bud. I am not overly optimistic of bringing in another Bosh type player but you never know. My guess is Ariza will have to jell with the rest of the team, stop losing games after starting out strong, and just have fun with Beverley, Howard, etc...

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago

    Awwww Rahat, I can't believe you wanted James Harden to leave Team USA! I know I'm the odd man out here but I am pretty excited for FIBA World Cup and to have a Rocket as one of the leaders of the team is pretty exciting in my book.

    I still think Harden has one more year of pushing too hard and making mistakes. I am thinking there will be another year of heartbreak and a brutal end as Harden comes up short again. I think in 2016 Harden will begin to play more within himself and trust his teammates more, let the game come to him when it matters most (crunchtime and playoffs). The process might begin this season but I'm thinking the season after is when he really begins entering his emotional prime where it still converges with his physical prime.

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