On James Harden’s shooting

James Harden’s shooting has taken a very troubling nosedive here of late, settling in at 39.5% overall (31% on 3’s) at present date.  Looking a bit closer, on catch and shoot’s, he’s shooting 33.3%, while on pullups, he’s shooting 30.5%.  Not much of a split there, really.  Interestingly, 49.6% of his shots are pullups, with just 15% as catch and shoots.  (The other 34.5% are from less than 10 feet).  To put it in other terms, Harden is averaging 2.6 catch and shoot attempts per game, but 8.4 pullup attempts.  (5.9 of his attempts are from less than 10 feet.)

Other things that stand out from the data: Harden’s highest field goal percentage is when he has a defender within 0-2 feet of his body.  His lowest percentages come when his defender is greater than 6 feet away.

And last of all, Harden is taking 7.7 shots per game on possessions where he has held the ball for longer than 6 seconds.  He is taking just 3.7 field goals a game on possessions where he has held the ball for less than two seconds.

All of this really just confirms that we haven’t gotten Harden off the ball at all, so far this year.  Judging by the splits, I’m not even sure if having someone else create for him would help much anyway either, aside from giving him a rest.  It’s still early, but is definitely something worth keeping an eye on.

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