≡ Menu

Will James Harden mature?

I was watching some old Youtube clips of Steve Francis this past weekend and reflecting back on that dark era in Rockets history.  When he came in, that rookie year, he was just an absolute sensation, viewed as almost a new-age Isiah Thomas.  He couldn’t handle a zone defense or run a fastbreak* to save his life, but we ignored that – he was breaking ankles and making posters, a walking triple-double with one of the most exciting games in the league.  We ignored his flaws assuming he’d mature.  As he had never actually played point guard, it was reasonable to assume he’d learn the position with time.

*Someone always expresses bewilderment upon my making this statement, citing Francis’ catalog of open-court slams.  What I mean when I say Francis couldn’t run the fastbreak is that he didn’t run it in the role of a point guard.  If he was alone, he’d take it in for the slam, which is fine, but if there were any defenders back, his natural inclination was to go to the wings rather than keeping the ball in the middle of the floor as a point guard is taught to do.  This is why it was oh so ironic when he basically described himself as a shooting guard in one of his more infamous quotes, regarding what the team should do with the #1 pick, saying, “With Lamar running the break, and me and Cuttino on the wings, it’s over.”

But of course, he didn’t learn the position or improve.  He eventually was traded for Tracy McGrady while he actually still held value.  The Magic let him play the way he wanted, and his numbers improved, but when they too cut back his role, again his game couldn’t adapt.  Steve just wasn’t a point guard and didn’t know how to be one.  If he wasn’t the focal point of the offense, he couldn’t really bring much to the team.  (I’ve made the comparison to Jeremy Lin many times previously).

This brings me to James Harden.  He’s one of the three or four best scorers in basketball, so good that he basically was able to single-handedly assure a playoff berth in the loaded Western Conference.  But will he ever bend his back on defense?  Will he stop pouting and be a leader? We made excuses for Harden too, like we did for Francis.  2013 was his first as a go-to option, he didn’t have the energy to play both ends.  But then after getting Dwight, things didn’t improve.  His effort levels improved over the season, before reaching ridiculous lows in the playoffs against Portland.  Not giving effort defensively in the postseason is unforgivable.

Harden will be turning 25 this season.  I pointed out recently that 25 was the age at which Tracy McGrady was last considered a true superstar, deeming it a reminder of how short opportunities can last.  Many of you rushed to Harden’s defense, pointing out McGrady’s reliance on athleticism, completely missing my point.  What I’m trying to say is that windows are often shorter than they seem; anything can happen, for any reason, not just injury.  The Wolves didn’t think Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett would clash; the Magic probably didn’t see Shaq leaving Penny behind.  Things happen.

As acknowledged, James Harden’s game will age gracefully.  But will he ever “get it” during Dwight’s prime?  It’s tempting to say Harden’s just 25, giving us a 7-year window, but we actually have a team right now, due to Howard, that can contend.  This team would undoubtedly be better if it weren’t getting a complete ’0′ defensively from one of its wing slots; Howard won’t always be around.  I hope Harden gains some urgency before that window slams shut.  The Rockets can’t control free agency, but they can help themselves in other ways.

 

View this discussion from the forum.

in essays

{ 0 comments… add one }

Login to leave a comment.
Total comments: 151
  • bboley24 says 2 months ago

    James Harden houses multiple eagles within his bearded glory. Conjecture? No. TRUTH.

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    @Jg

    What did i say that was untrue we have not won a playoff series in some years.

    by saying i made it personal you again have made it everything personal.

    AGAIN I DON'T READ OTHER SITES, So i don't know what you taking about.

    But since you always know what i'am saying please tell my son to gas the truck up before he brings it back home.

    My point, you don't know me and I don't know you , therefore I will never tell you what you are thinking, because I don't know.

    When you assume what a man will say or do then you make an (ass/ u/ me.)

    I don't even know what to say here. I can only assume we are experiencing a language barrier of some kind. I have been clear. Your inability to comprehend seems sincere.

    This is not the first time we have had to do this:

    To Johnny Gold. First you need to know I love the game of basketball. I don't like it when someone tries to speak for me. If you have doubts ask me a questions don't speak for me.I was happy that McHale allowed Lin to play through a tough game, but in the past that hasn't always been the case. So for you to make LOF's seem little, because they was happy that the kid was given a chance is crazy. Don't worry this is the last time I post on this site.

    That was from December--another "misunderstanding". This was my response to your post back then:

    I have no doubts. You confirmed exactly what I thought.

    I don't mean to make LOF's seem little (I did compliment some of them in that same post). I would like to curb the propagation of false information on a website for the Houston Rockets. Not a single, credible source has ever been produced to validate the persecution of Jeremy Lin; yet, I have to read about it every day. As a moderator, part of my job is to make sure the information brought to this website is true and accurate. I treat all unsubstantiated information the same regardless of who it pertains to.

    This is not to say that hearsay and rumor cannot be discussed, but it should be acknowledged as such. It is important to maintain the credibility of this website in regards to its journalistic function and integrity.

    If this is indeed your last post I wish you well and I hope you find another forum that makes you happy.

    That statement still stands. We are going in circles. Please, figure it out. If you bring contrived information that is not valid it will be dealt with. That is part of the deal with this forum. Respect it or don't post. Respect it or find a place that is more tolerant of your views. Respect it. Please, just respect it. This site is bigger than any one person and we will "prune the branches" to keep the tree healthy. Not a threat. Just a fact.

  • datruth says 2 months ago

    @Jg

    What did i say that was untrue we have not won a playoff series in some years.

    by saying i made it personal you again have made it everything personal.

    AGAIN I DON'T READ OTHER SITES, So i don't know what you taking about.

    But since you always know what i'am saying please tell my son to gas the truck up before he brings it back home.

    My point, you don't know me and I don't know you , therefore I will never tell you what you are thinking, because I don't know.

    When you assume what a man will say or do then you make an (ass/ u/ me.)

  • Losthief says 2 months ago

    @Losthief

    first off what's this apicture with clutch bear?you trying to swipe him from me on the slide? :lol:

    hehe...i've been using it since last year (i think early season but....can't remember anymore) but its whenever i got kinda of pissed off at the heat, so i found this one with clutch and a heat player where his shirt says 'im with stupid'. He can still be at your side...i'll just borrow him from time to time :D

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    I'd say tipoff of the NBA season at the latest

  • Buckko says 2 months ago

    So when are we waging our eternal war against the east?

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @Buckko

    OKC only has one continent, we got two Europe and Asia. I'd say that makes us the villians :lol:

  • Buckko says 2 months ago JG I think Africa might be pissed at OKC for Ibaka, the only exceptionally good player from Africa as of now plays internationally for Spain. A theory I read off a comment section from a website with the same map.
  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @Losthief

    first off what's this apicture with clutch bear?you trying to swipe him from me on the slide? :lol:

    second.......I think you have a valid point that it's not necessary for the whole team to sing koom-by-ya for them to play together. it doesn't hurt, but may be overblown as a factor within championship ingredients. we have a good locker room even without Parsons, so this ismy area of least concern.

  • Losthief says 2 months ago

    ummmm.....why does it really matter what harden/howard say and whether teammates get along?

    http://blacksportsonline.com/home/2012/10/michael-jordans-quotes-on-teammates-you-might-be-surprised/

    here's some more: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/471875-blashpemy-the-truth-about-michael-jeffery-jordan/page/2

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/06/21/steve-kerr-recalls-the-time-jordan-punched-him-at-practice/'

    i mean...it's not like harden/howard punched anyone....

    p.s. i could do this with others...but more clearly...when has it really ever mattered if you liked everyone you work with? I mean, i have had quite a few jobs, and I cannot think of one where I did not have at least one person I wasn't tight with.

    p.s.s. some of my most accomplished teams i ever played for I got in multiple fights with teammates, and clearly didn't like them, didn't mean we didn't play well together/off each other. (soccer and basketball for those wondering).

    p.s.s.s. (lets go through champions!)

    1. I mean...tim duncan supposedly didn't talk to parker for a whole year at the beginning, and the guy is suppose to be like the 'best' teammate ever....

    2. There's the whole mario chalmers thing with the heat...

    3. the fued between rondo and allen is well documented...but even doc rivers wanted to fight rondo supposedly

    So since the rockets won it all (which we can agree was awhile back now)

    I mean you got the spurs (which ok, chemistry is huge there, but as raj says not repeatable really)

    then you got friction between players on the heat....and thats not even including the supposed distance between bosh and lebron/wade.

    then you got the lakers with kobe...and futher back kobe/shaq, and smush parker, and etc etc

    then you boston celtics (see above)

    then you chicago bulls (see above/jordan)

    so that leaves...pistons (2004) and mavs (2009)...two one-time winners with special circumstances...and that pistons' team wasn't exactly made up of model citizens/teammates either until they played together. For that matter vince carter on the mavs wasn't exactly a model teammate early in his career.

    So other than the spurs...which even that has some questions to its culture of inclusion....what champions had players who all got along with each other....or stars who always loved all the role players. Winning and being an awesome teammate have zero collaration really....on court chemistry doesn't necessarily depend on off-court chemistry, it might help but it is not exactly a requirement.

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Just a little follow up to the D-Mo comments. D-Mo himself had this to say about it all:

    As reported by Houston Chronicle, Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas said the context of his comments made in Lithuania on Friday were lost in translation. The problem, however, was not with translating Lithuanian to English. The confusion, Motiejunas said, came when taking comedy seriously. He said his comments that James Harden and Dwight Howard do not eat with teammates were clearly jokes in keeping with the sort of radio program in which he was interviewed, but that there were reported in Lithuanian media as if he was serious. “The radio show, the guys that work there, make fun of everybody,” Motiejunas, who called from Lithuania said. “It’s a funny radio show. Everybody in Lithuania listens. They told me to try to be funny, try to make the jokes. They told me to be free. They asked some question. I joked about one thing. I joked about the other thing. “They asked about the team. I tried to be funny. They asked how they (Harden and Howard) approach the team. I told them like, “Hey, they’re not with us. I stay alone.’ Then the journalists in Lithuania took the interrview and took it serious and posted my interview. I didn’t talk with no journalists. It was just a fun radio show.”

    Motiejunas, however, said he actually does often dine with his teammates, including Howard and Harden. “We never have problems,” Motiejunas said. “For example, last year Dwight invited me and other players to Thanksgiving dinner. James and Dwight bought us give us gifts for Christmas. We go to eat most of the all of the time. I talked with Dwight today. I talk to Dwight all the time. He said he understands. Me and Dwight, we communicate pretty good in the locker room. I never had a problem. -

    LINK

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    First i meant playoff series wins. Sorry

    been following the rockets for a a long time, just because i don't response to an internet blog doesn't mean i'am not a fan.

    i don't believe everything I read and that's why i never agree with you

    but Harden is going into his 6th year and 3rd year as a rocket the time to prove himself is now.

    for you to say harden has not stood around and watch other players play defense is not true.

    for you to say he hasn't made comments or done things on and off the court that make us question his leadership is not true

    i believe that it takes a team to win a championship.

    i'am not sure what you taking about by calling someone trash., but as you know i know Basketball and if you ever want to make it personal let me know so i can meet you and we can talk about it face to face..

    Maybe by myself, but i do not like for people to call me trash.

    Or question my loyalty, because i don't take the time to respond to every blog.

    Man, normally i stay cool, but i guess the trash thing got me hot.

    Let's keep this short and sweet. Here is what I said:

    This is not what Red94 is about. It's a big part of what initially brought me here. A real website, with real information, real analysis, and fans who know what they're talking about combined with a no tolerance policy for jerks and garbage information. Let's keep it that way for as long as possible.

    I am sorry you took that as being called "trash", but, hopefully, you can see that is not what was said. Your response to my post is indicative of your stance on Harden--it's all conjecture based on singling out a few words without reading/understanding the entirety of the statement. I can't help that.

    I don't care if you agree with me or believe anything I write; however, you must understand I have a job to do--a role, if you will--which is to keep misinformation off of this site. It is unbelievable how much of that there is. I don't care if you want to dog on Harden--have at it. I care that what is said is factually accurate. Look, I understand that it is impossible for you to believe anything I write. All those facts get in the way of what you believe is true--we can't have that.

    It is clear that you prefer sensationalist journalism designed to goad people into a frenzy that is derived from mis-quoted, out of context, snippets that help form a contrived narrative because guess what? There are currently a billion people in the world who are eating that up and a billion clicks means money. Subscribe to it if you like, but don't think it is about real information. It is a soap opera. Look at this recent survey:

    international-hate-nba.png

    The only surprise there is OKC in Africa (maybe they are upset about Thabeet? :lol: )

    All that goodwill Jeremy Lin was supposed to bring to the Rockets backfired and it backfired quickly. The entire continent turned on the team--and the players, coach, and GM. This story has a unique bias to it and I don't have to say what and why that is--it is obvious. Look at the sources of all these articles that keep perpetuating this story. It's all smoke and mirrors.

    Back to your response. I did not question your fanhood--simply how long you had been a fan. We have had a huge influx of new fans in the past 2-3 years for obvious reasons--it is not an out of line question and, once again, you took it out of context and twisted it.

    On Harden, I absolutely say he has not done things to make me question his leadership. I never anointed him in the first place. Dwight, Beverely, and Parsons were the players I saw in that role--even Garcia. James Harden? What has he ever done to deserve that moniker besides having it placed squarely on his chest by everyone else? Best player does not equal leader. A common mistake.

    Again, did not call you trash. I did not make it personal--you did. I appreciate your willingness to meet. I doubt that will be necessary. I'm not big on the macho stuff. It doesn't accomplish anything. While I am sure it would be a charming interaction, I don't feel the need to say it to your face. I'm saying it quite well right here.

    I also don't understand the concern about responding to a blog--nobody said anything about that except you--twice.

    Since I totally screwed up the short and sweet part, let me try again.

    People who participate in the spread of rumors, conjecture, and unfounded hatred towards this team will be met with an appropriate response. A "garbage post" (which does not imply that the poster is trash) is one that does this. It will not be tolerated.

    I have read the forums/comments sections on many, many other sites. I can tell you unequivocally they are all the same tired drivel that we work hard to keep out of here (mostly). It's not about you--it's about keeping this site the best it can be. This isn't high school and we do not tolerate gossip and rumors.

    Have a nice day :)

  • datruth says 2 months ago

    Maybe by myself, but i do not like for people to call me trash.

    Or question my loyalty, because i don't take the time to respond to every blog.

    Man, normally i stay cool, but i guess the trash thing got me hot.

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @datruth

    ??????????????

    clearly you are ranting, but with who?

  • datruth says 2 months ago

    First i meant playoff series wins. Sorry

    been following the rockets for a a long time, just because i don't response to an internet blog doesn't mean i'am not a fan.

    i don't believe everything I read and that's why i never agree with you

    but Harden is going into his 6th year and 3rd year as a rocket the time to prove himself is now.

    for you to say harden has not stood around and watch other players play defense is not true.

    for you to say he hasn't made comments or done things on and off the court that make us question his leadership is not true

    i believe that it takes a team to win a championship.

    i'am not sure what you taking about by calling someone trash., but as you know i know Basketball and if you ever want to make it personal let me know so i can meet you and we can talk about it face to face..

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    amazing datruth.............I'm assuming you didn't read JG's link?

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Wow, This team needs to come together. No playoff wins since I don't know when. -------------->2009. Been following us long?

    This is harden 6th year.

    In one way i want to say , where there is smoke there might be a fire,------------->Yes, the fire from the torches of those who would like nothing better than to see Houston, Harden, Howard, and Morey burn.

    then again i say those type of things happen in sports. ------------>D-Mo never said that which you refer to but keep harping on it--that helps

    even at the high school level the stars sit with the stars,---------->this....what? No......

    but you never want to hear, again and again that certain players look down at other players.----->What's worse is when people believe everything they read

    Then again if you can stand around on defense and just shoot the ball all game

    you might think you above the team.------------> There you go. Fly that flag high. Don't be coy. Your true colors shine brightly.

    Sorry if my response seems terse or mean. But what else could you possibly expect when making a post like this on a Rockets' Forum? The court of public opinion is possibly one of the most frightening things in existence as it seems to prefer the electric rush from collective hatred over the droll acknowledgement of facts. Your preference seems pretty clear.....

    This is not what Red94 is about. It's a big part of what initially brought me here. A real website, with real information, real analysis, and fans who know what they're talking about combined with a no tolerance policy for jerks and garbage information. Let's keep it that way for as long as possible.

  • txtdo1411 says 2 months ago

    Wow, This team needs to come together. No playoff wins since I don't know when.

    I'm assuming you meant playoff series wins... It has been since 2009, and that was such an exciting season. Definitely one of the scrappier Rockets teams in recent history.

  • rocketrick says 2 months ago Wow! Inside Information! So Cool............
  • Buckko says 2 months ago Actually that entire report on Dmo was a lie. Dmo was referring that he himself eats away from H&H because he eats Lithuanian food and they usually eat fast food. Media manipulation 101 of editing certain quotes.
  • datruth says 2 months ago

    Wow, This team needs to come together. No playoff wins since I don't know when.

    This is harden 6th year.

    In one way i want to say , where there is smoke there might be a fire,

    then again i say those type of things happen in sports.

    even at the high school level the stars sit with the stars,

    but you never want to hear, again and again that certain players look down at other players.

    Then again if you can stand around on defense and just shoot the ball all game

    you might think you above the team.

  • Steven says 2 months ago See D-Mo is a loner and causes all the chemistry problems within the Rockets. Trade him to the Lakers for Jeremy Lin so we can have our bench back.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago Wow. Talk about out of context.
  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @JG

    good find JG. I didn't think it was nothing. However some of these media outlets do need to run a correction story to cleanup their smear campaign comments. however I won't be holding my breathe

  • txtdo1411 says 2 months ago

    What's this?!?!?! A rational article with actual research and facts....weird. Here is what D-Mo actually said: LINK

    That's awesome. Gotta love the media in the offseason.

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    What's this?!?!?! A rational article with actual research and facts....weird. Here is what D-Mo actually said: LINK

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @JG

    I agree.........much ado about nothing. you know it's a slow news cycle when junk like this is worthy of a story

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Maybe they're walking to Subway? It worked for Jared!

    subway-full.jpg

  • Steven says 2 months ago Nothing is healthier then Mickie D's. Haven't you seen "SuperSize Me"? Where else can you get all the quality food in order to put on 25 pounds of lean toned muscle, that does require a needle or a pill?
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    It's not news by itself, but with the narrative that's being written, this does add fuel to the fire. I do think this is much ado about nothing, but in conjunction with the Harden comments it does make it easy for the media to say that he doesn't care for his teammates.

    You said it right there. The difference between perception and reality. This info. came from a tweet of a Lithuanian "hoops insider". (LINK to his twitter feed) So that's what....D-Mo and Jonas Valanciunas? His feed is littered with any tidbit that comes out of D-Mo's mouth.

    My favorite one:

    D-Mo on most memorable game: "It's hard to say. But the worst ones are easy to remember – the 44 games I spent on the bench." #Rockets

    :lol:

    Look, he said, "they even eat separately from the team. Usually some fast food place." Since I am guessing most of these guys are on strict, healthy diets it makes sense they would eat separately. They're not elitists--they're junkies.

    "Y'all going to Mickey-D's again?"

    "Yup"

    "Cool. Catch ya later. Gonna go power down some lean protein and veggies."

    This is a scrub journalist using every resource he has to try and get noticed....TA-DA!!!!! It worked! If anything, we should be pissed that our two stars are eating that much fast food. Gotta get Ray Lewis to talk to them....

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago I agree but I am personally not concerned about biased media, I don't have time for that and I don't believe many fans care aside from hard core 24 news cycle NBA fans.

    And to readdress the topic, I think James Harden is maturing quite well and looks to be one of the Rockets greatest superstars for years to come.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago It's not news by itself, but with the narrative that's being written, this does add fuel to the fire. I do think this is much ado about nothing, but in conjunction with the Harden comments it does make it easy for the media to say that he doesn't care for his teammates.
  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago

    Did anyone else see the report that DMo said Howard and Harden don't eat with the rest of the team?
    I'm conflicted. On one hand, I love that DMo is being truthful and not giving out PC bull. On the other hand, maybe he needs to tone it down.



    Who really cares about guys eating every meal with the team? I'm sure this isn't the first instance of this. I'm sure guys like LeBron James, Derrick Rose and countless others don't have every meal with the team. All NBA players are not in the same situation. Some guys may have conference calls with agents or meetings with sponsorship representatives. These types of players have much less time in their day than say the bench players on any given team. Also some of these superstars like Rose and Harden are introverted people and may need that personal time to keep that equalibrium between all the on and off court demands that I imagine can be tough on a 24 year old young man.

    Were any of us under the impression that it's like the varsity team and they have their own table and they all sit together? Must be the offseason if this is news.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago Did anyone else see the report that DMo said Howard and Harden don't eat with the rest of the team?

    I'm conflicted. On one hand, I love that DMo is being truthful and not giving out PC bull. On the other hand, maybe he needs to tone it down.
  • Steven says 2 months ago

    yada yada yada I've heard this improved defense stuff before. until Harden shows me the consistent effort night in and night out I'm not drinking the kool-laid :lol: he has always had the abilities to be a top flight defender. time to shut up and put up.......don't tell me show me


    Ill go for once every other night, until May/June, then everynight
  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    yada yada yada I've heard this improved defense stuff before. until Harden shows me the consistent effort night in and night out I'm not drinking the kool-laid :lol:he has always had the abilities to be a top flight defender. time to shut up and put up.......don't tell me show me

  • rocketrick says 2 months ago James Harden has only been a Rocket for 2 seasons. Prior to that he was coming off the bench for OKC.

    There needs to be a bit more patience in my opinion with Harden.

    Good players find ways to improve their game each off-season.

    If Coach K and his staff is singing praises for Harden's game (both ends of the court, much improved player for Team USA vs. 2012, etc.), that's kind of hard in my opinion to totally disagree or discount.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Playing the right way when playing with Team USA doesn't always translate to playing the right way with your NBA team. Look at Carmelo.

    Harden has all the physical tools to be an elite defender, but he just doesn't seem motivated to try when he's playing for the Rockets.

    My previous statement stands--I will value their opinions over others. I have never subscribed to the notion that he is lazy, lacking motivation, egotistical, or whatever path of least resistance to judgement people are using. I am confident that this team, Harden included, is going to impress defensively this season.

  • RudyT1995 says 2 months ago

    I'm surprised no one has seen/mentioned this from Chris Sheridan. LINK

    The Team USA staff LOVE James Harden's defense. I'm going to go ahead and value their opinions over most everyone else's.

    Playing the right way when playing with Team USA doesn't always translate to playing the right way with your NBA team. Look at Carmelo.

    Harden has all the physical tools to be an elite defender, but he just doesn't seem motivated to try when he's playing for the Rockets.

  • Buckko says 2 months ago He can be the best guard in the nba.
  • rocketrick says 2 months ago 3rd might be too much to expect. Lebron and KD along with Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin instantly come to mind. Perhaps a top 5 in MVP votes this upcoming season might be a worthwhile goal.

    However, I think the best goal for Harden, D12 and the Rockets is to win rings and not worry so much about the individual awards. Those tend to come when you're on a title contender and take your team to the Finals, etc.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago Hardens got the talent to be the third best player in the league, but doesn't play up to it. I hope he uses his time on team USA to improve and be more consistent. I'm expecting him to be at least third in MVP voting.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    I'm surprised no one has seen/mentioned this from Chris Sheridan. LINK

    The Team USA staff LOVE James Harden's defense. I'm going to go ahead and value their opinions over most everyone else's.

    EDIT: oops, looks like Sheridan just tweeted the article...it is written by Bobby Gonzalez.

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Where was the indignation when Dan Favale wrote those crap articles about Lin when he was on the team? The irony is thick.

    Ha, ok. I never saw any of those. I think you mean hypocrisy rather than irony, but maybe I'm just missing what makes it ironic.

    I suppose you are referencing articles like this one. Looks like he is fawning all over Lin, but what do I know?

    Here, this recent article talks about Lin....still seems like he is being nice. He even threw in a dig at Harden. Obviously, the author is....lacking....but I don't see why you are up in arms about Lin...he seems to favor Lin.

    "More than halfof Lin's made baskets were unassisted last season, a fairly incredible percentage considering he played with the ball-dominantJames Harden."

    If you are going to take a pot-shot at Harden, at least try to make some sense. If Harden never passes then doesn't it make sense that Lin's shots would be "unassisted"? According to Favale this is "fairly incredible". :huh:

    There ya go, PhillyCheese. I'm indignant!....but mostly because some people care more about Lin than the Rockets and would expect different on a Rockets Forum. There's yourirony.

  • Buckko says 2 months ago

    Dan Favale is just a TERRIBLE writer overall. Have not read one article of his where I didn't leave a foul comment.

  • PhillyCheese says 2 months ago

    Where was the indignation when Dan Favale wrote those crap articles about Lin when he was on the team? The irony is thick.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago I, for one, LOVE the negative attention. This is when we will see the true character of our team. The benefits could be huge if this team develops the "world'a against us" mentality and develops good chemistry. I'm excited for this year. Let's go rockets.
  • txtdo1411 says 2 months ago

    Ugh... I don't understand why people continue to use the stat that the team is x-x when player y scores/assists/rebounds x amount. It has got to be one of the worst stats to prove a point. Of course a team is going to win more when a player plays well! I get frustrated every time I see someone use that, which is wayyy too often. You can pick any arbitrary number and stat, and use it to support whatever claim you are trying to make. It is just foolish.

    This whole article is pretty much ridiculous. I can't wait until we actually start playing some basketball.

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago

    Can this get its own topic, I think it's deserving of the front page.



    Agreed! Rahat! Mitchell!
  • Steven says 2 months ago Since the Heatles broke up, the NBA need a new villain. Easy to make Morey, Howard and Harden the new villains, because they go to a beat from their own drum. Rockets should come out in black away jerseys just to solidify their villainous stature.
  • Buckko says 2 months ago

    Can this get its own topic, I think it's deserving of the front page.

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Yet another "quality" article about our beloved Rockets. Bleacher Report is cranking out anti-Rockets articles as fast as they can. "Those Rockets are so hot right now." This totally unbiased articleposes the question of whether or not we are still a top 4 team in the West. What they actually wrote was another re-hash of how we gambled horribly in free agency, came up short, treated our players like garbage, were so much better off before, have selfish stars, gave away great players that will go on to be the most amazing people the planet has ever known, and in general are giant losers who are too arrogant to see the error in our ways. (phew! :wacko:)

    They use such subtle techniques as the classic, "So, have you stopped hitting your wife?" lead-ins.

    The author, Dan Favale, hypocritically refers to the loss of our "role players" and then, in the very next paragraph, rails against Dwight and James for calling them "role players" only to nonchalantly return to using the term himself sentences later. Towards the end, Trevor Ariza is nothing but a "cog".

    He can't resist a Spurs reference and comparison, but it is a brief one.

    Next, he busts out some stats...and they sound awfully impressive....to anyone who doesn't know much about the game, team, or stats.

    "Asik, Lin and Parsons rank as the sixth-most efficient three-man combo that logged at least 400 minutes for the Rockets last season,according to NBA.com. Separately and together, they were valuable weapons."

    Ooooooooooooooooohhhhh....Aaaaaaaahhhhh..... :o Oh my!!!! Whatever will we do?!?!?!?!

    Wait a minute....I went ahead and clicked that link...Looks like he is right...they are 6th.....and of the 19 3-man combos they list all but 2 of them include, one, or both, of Harden/Howard. The only other one that did not was #19 (last) with T-Jones, Lin, and Parsons.

    Weird, it would seem that the evidence to support his stance actually solidifies the very thing he is trying so hard to vilify us for. James and Dwight are the cornerstones. In fact, Patrick Beverley finds himself in 4 of the top 5 3-man units...but whatever....T-Jones makes quite a few appearances as well. But hey, let's ignore the other 18 line-ups and dramatically over-emphasize that we justgave awayour 6th rated 3-man line-up. (by the way, it was a .4 net rating drop from them to the next line-up....less than half a point)

    The author steps boldly into his next point--Chandler Parsons is amazing! He starts out by comparing him to LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kevin Love. :huh: Oh really? I can guarantee you that if we were playing pick up basketball and those were the 4 guys you had to choose from Parsons goes last every single time.

    The author proceeds to quote another B/R writer who is also beating the "Parsons is Great" drum.

    "If Houston needed him to score, he scored. The Rockets went 27-11 in games where he scored at least 17 points.

    If the Rockets needed him to be a distributor, he distributed. Houston went 20-6 in games where Parsons had at least five assists.

    If they needed Parsons to rebound, he hit the glass. They registered a 18-7 record when he recorded at least seven boards."

    Again, that's very compelling data. Wait a minute....they pulled the 'ol switch-a-roo on us! By phrasing it thusly, we are lead by the nose to their own desired conclusion. What really happened is, when Parsons had a good game we were more successful. I think we can safely assume that Parsons was asked to do all of those things every time on the floor; yet, of our 54 wins he can only claim to have "done what we needed" in 27 of them according to this clown. He acts like there is no overlap in those stats (without looking, I can guarantee there is a huge amount of overlap). Does this count as reporting? What is he reporting exactly?

    "This just in.....I am a fame-chasing hack who will write whatever gets me the most clicks while preying on the fact that most readers are too dense to realize they are being spoon-fed public opinion."

    I, for one, hear you loud and clear, buddy. ;)

    Rockets fans....let us all stop and give thanks....thanks for having a place like Red94. It's not perfect, but when it comes to discussing the ins and outs of our favorite team it beats having to rely on the musings of outsiders with agendas that prioritize themselves above actual reporting.

    The real crime isn't that these guys write this stuff--it is how many people so readily devour it and regurgitate it all over the place until the world is painted in their vomit. Truly, it stinks.

    Quotation-Horace-Mann-ignorance-soul-kno

  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago He is a great player but I don't think it's irrational. He does things that make some people dislike him.

    I do think that this does color their views of his on court production and so they are not being objective but I wouldn't say it's irrational.

    If he were in LA or Boston ESPN would overlook these faults.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Thanks guys. I agree, FSS, the guy is still very young. It is likely that we won't see the best of James Harden for another 3-5 years.

    Also, I just noticed a small math error I made early on. Somehow, I subtracted 2.7 from 29.6 and got 26.6. Obviously, that should be 26.9. The good news is that the .3 mile discrepancy spread out over 5550 possessions does not alter the final numbers enough to change any of the drawn conclusions: James Harden is irrationally despised and discounted by the majority of NBA fans.

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago

    I also second that johnnygold.

    Harden isn't a poster child for laziness. He is actually a prime example of mob mentality and hyperbole taking over amid the 24 hour news cycle. There are real statistics that when put into context reveal why Harden is elite and a First Team All NBA Guard.

    He's 24 years old people.

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @JG

    I second that....................WELL SAID

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    @Baller93....30 extra miles over the course of the season. OK, let's break that down.

    Chandler plays 37.8 mpg which is 78.3% of a regulation NBA game. Our pace last season was 96.3 (meaning on average we had that many possessions per game). If we multiply the number of possessions by Parsons' percentage of time played we get 75 (75.4, but I rounded to the nearest whole number).

    So, assuming 75 possessions per game for 74 games (the number Parsons played) we get 5,550 total possessions.

    Parsons was exactly 29.6 miles ahead of James. However, he played one extra game (2.7 mpg) so we must subtract that to get to 26.6 miles further than James. Converted into feet, that is 140,448 feet. If we divide that number by the number of possessions we will get a better idea of how much more running Parsons did per play. Answer: 25.3 feet per play.

    If we consider that Parsons plays off the ball and spent some time running around screens and cutting while James ran the offense from the top of the key that would explain some of it. The baseline is 50'. How many times per game does Parsons run from one baseline 3 pt. spot-up, under the rim, and to the other side? 5? 10? I think 10 is a safe bet. That's 500' per game. So, multiply that by 74 and you've got 37,000 feet, or 7 miles.

    Further, If we consider that James operated from the top of the key while Parsons was often in the corners for kick outs that would explain some of it (it's roughly 23 feet from the top of the key to the baseline 3 pt. shot. That's 46 ft. per possession difference and would only need to occur 115 times to equal an extra mile. So, if that were to occur 1/5 of the 75 possessions he plays (a likely estimate) that would be 17 times per game. Multiply that by 74 games and we have 57,868 feet, or 11 miles. Math is Amaaaaaaaaazing!

    That moves us down to a mere 8.6 miles further than James for the season (I could probably whittle it some more, but the point has been made). That is roughly 32% of where we started, or 8.1 feet per play. Now, for a guy who stands 6' 10"....how many steps does it take to cover roughly 8'? I'd say 1-2 depending on the stride and speed. We can call it an average of 2 steps. Two steps per play. Wow....are we going to crucify James over 2 steps per play? HECK YES WE ARE!!!! Because he is abhorred by fans. And that's what fans do.

    You can eye test all you want. Any cop can tell you that people's eyes are about as trustworthy as the criminals they are trying to get off the streets. 10 people can see the same thing happen and give 10 different accounts of said event. You like the number your friend showed you because it supports what you already believe.

    The truth is, Harden ran the second furthest of any Rocket player including Dwight, T-Jones, Lin, or P-Bev. He held the second highest per game average (behind the wonderful Mr. Parsons) tied with Beverley (who did it in 7 fewer minutes than Harden) with 2.3 miles per game.

    Look, I'm not here to say Harden's defense is amazing. I'm here to shoot down terrible logic. You want to post an emotional rant about how much Harden sucks? Go for it. If you want to use data to support that emotion it better be good and relevant. Parsons ran more because his job was to run more. Shocking!

    Also, tell your friend that if he looks 3 slots to the right from the speed/distance tab there is a "defensive impact" tab. There, one can see all the times James Harden gets "blown by" with his terrible defense. Apparently, it is a whopping 2.3 times per game with a completion rate of 1.3 per game. So, 2.6 ppg. Yowza!

    Sources: NBA.com, basketball-reference.com, NBA Floor Specs

  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago If the coaches told him not to go hard on defense in order to avoid being tired and pick up fouls(which many on here argue), it's NOT going to be better next year. We've lost our two secondary playmakers at the guard/wing positions and even more responsibility will be on harden to create for himself and others on the offensive end.

    If he was being lazy on defense, that could improve. I don't know which one to believe but maybe Hardens better off guarding SFs as they're not Ray Allen Klay types who continuously run around screens to get open shots. SFs typically don't do much of that with the exception of Korver.
  • bob schmidt says 2 months ago

    The actual stat that you are referencing Baller 93 reflects how far and fast an NBA player travels in an average game. From the charts shown, Harden is shown to travel 2.6 miles per game, compared to a few other "lazy" players like Russel Westbrook and Kevin Durant at 2.7; Lebron James at 2.4, Kawhi Leonard at 2.3, and Chris Bosh at 2.2 miles per game. Parsons was rated at 3.0 miles per game.

    I totally agree that Harden is capable of playing better defense, but at the risk of picking up fouls that might hurt his offensive game (picking up fouls on the opposition) which is part and parcel to his game. However, casting dispersions on individual players that are unwarranted is just not right. As to Mr. Harden's personal habits, I can't find any reference points. It is enough to me that he plays the game at an elite level, and any indications that he is not in good condition do not exist statistically. Is that really a beer belly or could it simply be his natural body type?

    The stats that I referenced came from NBA player stats, dot com/player tracking speed. I couldn't figure out how to place an active link for your convenience. Sorry bout that...

  • Baller93 says 2 months ago

    Interesting to hear about all this ant-Rocket talk from even in Denver! I suspect the polarizing aspect of Harden's game is not really his defense per se, but his lack of effort which I suppose goes hand in hand with his defensive apathy. I have never in my 30+ years of watching basketball seen a player making max money give so little effort. Not defensively, not offensively, he's just plain lazy. I tend to write off stats and stick with the tried and true eye tests to confirm my thoughts, but the one stat that some guy showed me at work was the difference in Chandler and James distance traveled and in almost the same amount of minutes played, Chandler ran almost 30 more miles than Harden! 30 MILES! Not 30 yards, MILES!!! I am not sure why most Houston fans somehow like seeing a max contract player give minimum effort, it goes against all sports credo.

    I must confess, I am one of those new school of thought NBA fans who are trying to educate the media and casual fans of today into looking at more than highlights and offensive touches to give credence to a player (losing battle with the unwashed, I know, but eh....) and the one poster child of max laziness and apathy shows up in town, this truly is the proverbial rock in my shoe that I cannot dislodge which is why I truly cannot stand this player and the only NBA fans that seem to not see this is outside of Houston. I can understand the tunnel vision to some degree, but eh....

    Morey, I know you read these forums so I beg of you to trade this beer belly lugging, escort hiring, club hopping all night during the season, no conditioned, entitled athlete back to OKC or any time that needs one dimensional offense and get Dragic or Bledsoe here. PLEASE!!!

    Remember Houston fans, the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back. This is your third year, James. Honeymoon is over!

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    I agree with those who say it will help us. we aren't trying to win a popularity contest. a little hate can create a lot in determination

  • slick shoes says 2 months ago

    I was a huge fan of the Pistons bad boys (not the best of years for the Rockets...), and think that mentality is just what the doctor ordered for this group - Howard, Harden, Bev, Ariza and the youngsters. Go Clutch Bad Boys!

    They ought to just focus on the task at hand. Ignore the outside noise and try to come together as a team. Winning games will speak far louder than building a rep. Let them hate us for winning, not for behavior.

  • Willk says 2 months ago

    I was a huge fan of the Pistons bad boys (not the best of years for the Rockets...), and think that mentality is just what the doctor ordered for this group - Howard, Harden, Bev, Ariza and the youngsters. Go Clutch Bad Boys!

    I agree
  • redfaithful says 2 months ago

    I was a huge fan of the Pistons bad boys (not the best of years for the Rockets...), and think that mentality is just what the doctor ordered for this group - Howard, Harden, Bev, Ariza and the youngsters. Go Clutch Bad Boys!

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago Grantland has been infiltrated by irrational anti Rockets sentiment but I still enjoy Rose:

    "Ariza is an upgrade," said Jalen Rose. "He's a much better defender than Chandler Parsons. I think it's a good move."
  • slick shoes says 2 months ago

    I'm just gonna leave this here.....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9fC8BGtJDI

    DISCLAIMER: NSFW. Occasional less that desireable language.

  • Buckko says 2 months ago

    Of course they had a chick interview parsons.

  • Willk says 2 months ago

    Looks like Houston is indeed this year's "villain" team. Grantland has sold out to public perception and the need for clicks. What article was featured on ESPN/Grantland this morning? This one.

    It is an Op Ed piece written by this guy: JASON CONCEPCION: a staff writer for Grantland and coauthor of We’ll Always Have Linsanity.

    He also included his corgi in his profile picture...for his professional Grantland profile. :blink:

    I have been trying to avoid the truth of the matter, but it appears to be time to ditch ESPN and it's ever increasing TMZ-esque "news".

    To no one's surprise, the author takes aim and trashes Harden, Howard, McHale, Morey, and if he knew anyone else's name I am sure he would have included them. He coldly compares Harden to Agent Smith (from the Matrix) and Karl Marx by putting quotes from each of them in order--because sheep will follow this sort of logic. Agent Smith.....Karl Marx....James Harden. Ohhhhh, so Harden must be evil too......Personally, I think Mussolini would have been more apt.

    "It is the State which educates its citizens in civic virtue, gives them a consciousness of their mission and welds them into unity."

    --Benito Mussolini


    Maybe that better fits Morey...yeah....Harden, from the eyes of the "unbiased", deserves one of these:

    "It's good to trust others but, not to do so is much better."


    "The function of a citizen and a soldier are inseparable."

    --Benito Mussolini



    Meanwhile, Parsons is perfect in every way and, combined with his fan girl reporter, Juliet Litman, has Grantland firmly in his pocket. For those who did not see the interview I will post it below. For anyone who isn't so good at picking up signals from women when they are into you--this is what it looks like.



    I, for one, welcome the onslaught of negativity, hatred, and hive-mind vitriol. Nothing could be better for taking Harden and Howard and putting them in full "eff-you" mode. Bring it. I am so excited for this season. B)
    Juliet litman on the right reasons podcast said she felt dirty about cheering for a team with Dwight Howard on it last year. She goes on to say with Parsons gone, she will gladly be cheering against Houston this year. I think the negative attention will help galvanize this team.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Looks like Houston is indeed this year's "villain" team. Grantland has sold out to public perception and the need for clicks. What article was featured on ESPN/Grantland this morning? This one.

    It is an Op Ed piece written by this guy: JASON CONCEPCION:a staff writer for Grantland and coauthor ofWe’ll Always Have Linsanity.

    He also included his corgi in his profile picture...for his professional Grantland profile. :blink:

    I have been trying to avoid the truth of the matter, but it appears to be time to ditch ESPN and it's ever increasing TMZ-esque "news".

    To no one's surprise, the author takes aim and trashes Harden, Howard, McHale, Morey, and if he knew anyone else's name I am sure he would have included them. He coldly compares Harden to Agent Smith (from the Matrix) and Karl Marx by putting quotes from each of them in order--because sheep will follow this sort of logic. Agent Smith.....Karl Marx....James Harden. Ohhhhh, so Harden must be evil too......Personally, I think Mussolini would have been more apt.

    "It is the State which educates its citizens in civic virtue, gives them a consciousness of their mission and welds them into unity."

    --Benito Mussolini

    Maybe that better fits Morey...yeah....Harden, from the eyes of the "unbiased", deserves one of these:

    "It's good to trust others but, not to do so is much better."

    "The function of a citizen and a soldier are inseparable."

    --Benito Mussolini

    Meanwhile, Parsons is perfect in every way and, combined with his fan girl reporter, Juliet Litman, has Grantland firmly in his pocket. For those who did not see the interview I will post it below. For anyone who isn't so good at picking up signalsfrom women when they are into you--this is what it looks like.

    I, for one, welcome the onslaught of negativity, hatred, and hive-mind vitriol. Nothing could be better for taking Harden and Howard and putting them in full "eff-you" mode. Bring it. I am so excited for this season. B)

  • Willk says 2 months ago



    I'd love to see our youngsters to step up this season, but i don't see it happen if McHale keep using his 8 men rotation. They won't get any significant minutes.

    Talk about a playmaker to lead the 2nd unit, Kendall Marshall comes to mind. I wonder why Morey didn't try to sign him up when he was waived by the Lakers? He is a pinpoint passer with excellent vision, and shoots 39.9% from 3p line last season. He is younger than Canaan..

    I believe Milwaukee had the first option to sign Marshall. The Rockets never had a chance to sign him because I believe the teams with the worst records got a chance to sign Marshall first. I would have liked him on the team.
  • Dayak says 3 months ago

    @Dayak
    that's a fair concern, however Canaan, Covington and Daniels were groomed in the D-League last year together.......I suspect they will play together on the bench mob this year. Ish Smith is a pass first PG should we need additional help within that bench mob with play making ability


    I disagree and here is my reasoning why.

    He shoots 35% from three. If the defender gets lazy and attempts to go under the screen, he puts up the shot, everytime. People will recognize this, assuming he keeps hitting the threes, will have to fight over the top of the screen, thus leading to the perfect pick and role scenario. That will lead to easy baskets around the hoop, and open threes. I wanna see the lineup of Canaan Daniels Covington Ariza/Jones D-Mo. See how many points per 100 they score.


    I'd love to see our youngsters to step up this season, but i don't see it happen if McHale keep using his 8 men rotation. They won't get any significant minutes.

    Talk about a playmaker to lead the 2nd unit, Kendall Marshall comes to mind. I wonder why Morey didn't try to sign him up when he was waived by the Lakers? He is a pinpoint passer with excellent vision, and shoots 39.9% from 3p line last season. He is younger than Canaan..
  • Buckko says 3 months ago

    This team will be far better at shooting, turnovers and defending so there will be offsets.

    Cannan can handle the ball

    Ish Smith is a pass 1st PG

    Troy said his main point of the offseason is learning to play the 1, I don't know how well that will turn out, but at least it means he's working on his handles.

    Harden is still developing as an elite playmaker.

    Thus it might be our biggest concern now, but down the road we might be feeling better about it.

  • Willk says 3 months ago

    I disagree and here is my reasoning why.

    He shoots 35% from three. If the defender gets lazy and attempts to go under the screen, he puts up the shot, everytime. People will recognize this, assuming he keeps hitting the threes, will have to fight over the top of the screen, thus leading to the perfect pick and role scenario. That will lead to easy baskets around the hoop, and open threes. I wanna see the lineup of Canaan Daniels Covington Ariza/Jones D-Mo. See how many points per 100 they score.

    Canaan was an elite 3P shooter in the d-league and in college. I suspect he will be close to that this year. I was surprised at how strong he looked in the summer league.
  • Willk says 3 months ago

    Unfortunately, Harden and Howard are also very turnover prone.

    so are Durant and Westbrook. Most stars are going to have a lot of TOs because they handle the ball a lot. The problem w/ the back PG last year was that he was 2nd among all PGs in TO% and getting worse. Your role players cannot be turnover machines. The Rox will turn the ball over less this year and have less wasted possessions.
  • datruth says 3 months ago

    I understand that most people feel like we will be better without Lin, Parson, Omer, Casspi.
    Parson 16.6 pts. a game, 5.5 rebs. 4.0 assists and played in 74 games
    Lin 12.5 pts a game, 4.0 assists and played in 71 games
    Casspi, 7.0 pts a game , 3.7 rebs, 1.2 assists and played in 71 games
    Omer 5.8 pts a game, 8 rebs, played in 41 games
    we average 107.7 pts. a game and 21.4 assists, those guys accounted for 38% of the team scoring and over 40% of the team assists. that's a lot of production to replace. I hope you guys are right.

  • Cooper says 3 months ago

    Theres going to be some growing pains especially early in the season with a mostly inexperienced bench but hopefully through playing together and getting more experience they should be ready come playoff time.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago But who gets his usage? I'm sure Canaan will be just as turnover prone.
  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    @RudyT1995

    true, but without Lin we are already less turnover prone as a team

  • RudyT1995 says 3 months ago

    @TTDN

    Lin and Parsons play makers? this is where assist stats can fool you. neither was a good play maker consistently. I think we will be better off without the turnovers

    Unfortunately, Harden and Howard are also very turnover prone.

  • RudyT1995 says 3 months ago

    I disagree and here is my reasoning why.

    He shoots 35% from three. If the defender gets lazy and attempts to go under the screen, he puts up the shot, everytime.

    36% is the league average. 35% isn't really good enough to make defenders respect you. Hopefully he can get that to 38% or 39% at least.

  • Steven says 3 months ago

    A Playmaker to lead the second unit is my biggest concern right now and i doubt Canaan can fill this role.

    I disagree and here is my reasoning why.

    He shoots 35% from three. If the defender gets lazy and attempts to go under the screen, he puts up the shot, everytime. People will recognize this, assuming he keeps hitting the threes, will have to fight over the top of the screen, thus leading to the perfect pick and role scenario. That will lead to easy baskets around the hoop, and open threes. I wanna see the lineup of Canaan Daniels Covington Ariza/Jones D-Mo. See how many points per 100 they score.
  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    @Dayak

    that's a fair concern, however Canaan, Covington and Daniels were groomed in the D-League last year together.......I suspect they will play together on the bench mob this year. Ish Smith is a pass first PG should we need additional help within that bench mob with play making ability

  • Dayak says 3 months ago A Playmaker to lead the second unit is my biggest concern right now and i doubt Canaan can fill this role.
  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    @TTDN

    we are talking about the same Lin who use to drive into the paint and jump into the air without having an out to pass the ball or good look at a shot are we not? the same Lin who average 4 turnovers a game? IMO Canaan can be no worse than Lin.......it's not hard to beat mediocre. :lol:

    now Parsons did make a few plays, but mostly to T-jones. which IMO that job can be better handled by a true PG. I think how much we will miss the two of them is being overblown. Parsons will be replaced quite nicely by Ariza and even if we replaced Lin with a telephone pole it would be an upgrade :lol:

  • datruth says 3 months ago

    The biggest problem with what harden said is that he was role player in OKC.
    In the order of importance on OKC team Harden was 4th that is the place of a role payer. There was Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka. Those guys was the three most important players on their team then and they are still the three most important players on their team now. Role players complete a team, they do the dirty work so that you can win championships and playoff games. Like playing defense and rebounding. Some people consider Bill Russel to be a role player he only average 15 pts. a game, but he average 22.5 rebounds a game and was considered to be a defensive force up the middle. Role players win championships.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago They were playmakers as they were the other two driving and kicking. Bev usually just waited for the open 3. Same with Ariza in WSH. Our offense will have to change since I don't see either being strong at that. So we do have potential to improve if we change the offense and run different plays.
  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    @TTDN

    Lin and Parsons play makers? this is where assist stats can fool you. neither was a good play maker consistently. I think we will be better off without the turnovers

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    Biggest problem with horrid perimeter D? harden. We all agree they will be better defensively on the perimeter. But will it be enough to offset the fact that Harden is the only playmaker on the team. There is no Lin and Parsons to create when Harden isn't. I think we will suffer some offensively with Beverley and Ariza as our backup playmakers.

    Essentially this offseason was probably a wash. Hopefully Harden doesn't do what he did against Portland again and we should get to the second round.

    Harden is the only playmaker on the team? I'm sorry but that is not accurate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JdKLBc0bm4

  • thenit says 3 months ago

    And we don't have Asik

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago Biggest problem with horrid perimeter D? harden. We all agree they will be better defensively on the perimeter. But will it be enough to offset the fact that Harden is the only playmaker on the team. There is no Lin and Parsons to create when Harden isn't. I think we will suffer some offensively with Beverley and Ariza as our backup playmakers.

    Essentially this offseason was probably a wash. Hopefully Harden doesn't do what he did against Portland again and we should get to the second round.
  • Buckko says 3 months ago

    I have to believe that is the reasoning behind the defensive mindset of this offseason/free agency for the Rockets.

    I have been saying this for awhile now that the rocket's defense should be great, especially our perimeter. Ironic how they improve their weaknesses of shooting, rebounding, perimeter defense, and depth this offseason yet people say they will be far worst because of the loss of parsons who was a big part of the original problem of horrid perimeter D and bad rebounding.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago Bob Schmidt,

    I am sure you view yourself as a "reasonable and unbiased fan", and that everybody who has a difference of opinion is not, let's just focus on the numbers. I looked at basketball reference and compared the numbers between regular season and post season for harden. It's like night and day. Now I would expect some drop off due to the increase in talent, but the difference was STAGGERING. I believe he underperformed based on both the numbers and the eye test. I don't appreciate you inferring that everybody who disagrees with your opinion on hardens performance in the series that we are not "reasonable and unbiased".

    Look up the numbers yourself and if you still feel the same way with only ppg to back up your argument, then there's nothing further for us to talk about.

    Have a nice day.
  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    This quote has stuck with me since it was first uttered by the player in quesiton:

    "I'm not worried about my offense, I'm worried about our defense -- our defense as a team,"

    I am of the opinion that as one of the highest players in the league as well as your team, you take ownership no matter what. If you are a cornerstone as he presents himself to be. I am not down on him the way most are. I think he is still young, developing, and growing. It is just statements like that that add fuel to the fire of his leadership capabilites and maturity level at this point.

  • thenit says 3 months ago

    @ Bob Schmidt

    Yes he scored a lot of points but he shot poorly in majority of the games and my issue is that with other players you can have an off night but the D isn't terrible especially in the playoffs where Matthews could bully harden. Also when Dwight was hot and we went with him, Harden zoned out so how matured is that ? He just takes his ball home and walks away. Its effort and things like that make me hesitant if he can lead us to the promise land.

    Examples in interviews after games where he won, a lot of the times he would say, I had to score, be aggressive, take over the game etc.

    However when we loses its a team needs to be better, move the ball, play harder D (while he is the biggest culprit).

    While I'm negative there isn't many players I trade straight upfor Harden because of his mindblowing Off. But its just me as a fan of the rockets that judge him and Dwight at a higher expectations than the other players.

  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    @slick shoes

    I agree

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    Harden and the coaching staff will have to figure out how much defense from Harden has to be extracted for our team's ultimate success. I don't have the answer to that, excepting to suggest that more defensive effort and a stronger defensive mentality will be needed for the entire team. It is not realistic to think that all defensive lapses on the Rockets are the fault of one player.

    I have to believe that is the reasoning behind the defensive mindset of this offseason/free agency for the Rockets.

  • bob schmidt says 3 months ago

    The growth and maturity of a player only occurs over a period of time, and at varying rates with each individual. In my opinion, Harden is on track with his maturation process. A better question might be if fans are mature enough to rattle off accurate opinions about individual players like Harden.

    For example, would a reasonable, unbiased fan rip Harden for our playoff exit? Did he seriously underperform? In reality, Harden averaged 43.5 minutes per game, highest minutes per game in thewestern playoff 1st round series. He averaged more than 26 points per game, 3rd highest. His game performance stats per basketball-reference.com were higher than any San Antonio player for the first round series, and compared favorably with Blake Griffin and many other elite players. In short, he did not fail to show up....

    If we demand more effort from Harden in the defensive area, how many fouls are we willing to dedicate to his defensive activity? Do we want to risk having him foul out by the fourth quarter in an important game? Since he receives so many foul calls with his offensive style, referees are quick to call ticky-tack fouls on him. Plus, additional defensive effort will obviously reduce his offensive productivity. So, can we afford to cut back his minutes to keep him efficient towards the ends of games?

    Harden and the coaching staff will have to figure out how much defense from Harden has to be extracted for our team's ultimate success. I don't have the answer to that, excepting to suggest that more defensive effort and a stronger defensive mentality will be needed for the entire team. It is not realistic to think that all defensive lapses on the Rockets are the fault of one player.

    As to maturity and James Harden, this past season spoke well to Harden having been pretty mature about not making waves over Parson's "breakout" year. I don't recall any untoward comments during the season originating from Harden. Yes, he is a quiet man not prone to talking out of turn. Sure, he is capable of making a remark that might be misunderstood, but aren't we all? I have no doubts that Harden will mature in a normal manner for a guy his age. With a little bit of luck, the rest of the team will also continue maturing into a championship caliber team.

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    Shots fired! Parsons' brother uses Twitter to let James know how he feels. LINK NSFW - naughty words

    Also on Twitter, Jeremy Lin agrees with James' statement. Lin fans still find way to take a stab at Rockets. LINK

    Is it safe to say Houston is now the most hated team in the NBA? Not the Lakers. Not the Cavs. Not the Knicks. Our beloved Rockets.... :)

    The first comment says it all:

    2prvdkk.jpg

    “If you've got haters, that means you're doing something right.”

  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    will Harden mature?

    every time I see one of these statements I think to myself............these are fans who have forgotten what it's like to have0 stars. every player in the NBA has warts. Lebron is as good as it gets and yet he still has warts. would I like to see Harden play better defense? YES. however looking at his warts without also realizing what he bring to the table is only telling half the story. I guess you guys who want to get rid of Harden feel we should have kept Lowry, Dragic and C-Lee. Harden is a star without doubt. I get upset with him from time to time, but realize what he brings to the table far outweighs his defensive lapses. I think our real leader (D-12) will help the maturing process alone with Harden. so I'm not worried on that front. he will mature with time and help.......we have both of those at our disposal so why panic

    as for the comments Harden made...........while probably best left unsaid.....what he said is fact. he and D-12 are the foundation of this team. being called a roll player isn't and insult. the media is making a mountain out of a mole hill. I understand it's the off season and good NBA news is hard to come by, but this is minor. yeah I suppose when we play Dallas next year there will be a little dirt kicked up over this, but I find it hard to stay interested in garbage :lol:

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    Shots fired! Parsons' brother uses Twitter to let James know how he feels. LINK NSFW - naughty words

    Also on Twitter, Jeremy Lin agrees with James' statement. Lin fans still find way to take a stab at Rockets. LINK

    Is it safe to say Houston is now the most hated team in the NBA? Not the Lakers. Not the Cavs. Not the Knicks. Our beloved Rockets.... :)

  • Matt Maloney's Ghost says 3 months ago

    Will Harden Ever Mature?

    Are we seriously asking this question at the age of 24? He may look 35 but he is still a young guy.

    Can you imagine in any situation where Parsons makes as much money as Harden? No, Parsons is an excellent player but he is a little high on himself right now.

    What Harden said was honest. This is really about likability and we are finding out, that people outside of Houston do not like him but who cares.

    Maybe he would play defense if our system wasn't about layups and 3's and pushing the pace.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    James-Harden1-333x224.jpg

    James is shocked to hear all this public backlash. Nobody could have seen this coming.

    Criticism of James Harden has been trumpeted so loudly by so many that 10,000 years from now the echoes will still be heard across the universe.

    I'm glad we have a forum where people can freely express their opinions and thoughts. I want to thank those who are able and willing to write something,anything, with an original thought, idea, or sentence in it. Sometimes it just feels like a bad trip where a moment gets stuck repeating over and over and over and over and you're not sure it will ever end.

  • SouthAustinDTH says 3 months ago

    He doesn't go out of his way to accept personal responsibility for poor team performances. But he's right. It is on him. The coaches don't respond to losses by limiting the situations the media may criticize. He remains in the game on late and crucial defensive plays, and we've had a problem losing games late in the 4th with the game is his hands. Saying "it's on us" is like a promise which is only made genuine when you commit to making the necessary adjustments or improvements. So I guess Harden has his work cut out for him to prove those statements.

    I think that's what Harden's stumble and crash personality was trying to establish with this wacky comment. Honestly, I think he realizes all of this and you have well encapsulated the reality of his situation here . . . I think the point is that he is not naturally comfortable with leadership and "spotlight responsibility" and is still on the fence over whether to take it or not. I think the deference to Parsons windowed what was likely a personality dynamic from the locker room . . . I imagine that (unfortunately, like Dwight) he likes to be revered for his positional greatness, but thrives more when a KD or Jameer/JJ (players who can garner focal attention) shares the floor with them. Harden never trusted J.Lin (likely due to his whirling dervish routines) because for all his Harvard education, Lin never seemed to have a plan whereas Harden never seems to be less than 4 moves ahead on offense all the time.

    I think Harden was probably the MOST excited about the FA possibilities this summer, because Dwight DIDN'T step up and visibly take ownership of the team this past year and I think Harden hoped whoever this summer's splash was going to be WOULD, relegating him to wing hitter, or off-ball P-n-R nightmare.

    I am really a fan of the concept of having Harden guard the '3' and putting Ariza on '2's this season to see what that could yield. I think largely this Ariza re-acquisition takes some of the sheen and glitz off the face of the franchise (Parsons has consistently been my favorite Rocket since his signing -- but his "looks" aspect of his career was not helping a team with little to no grounding) and could lend to a solidification of 'on-court' cohesion.

    Here's to '14-'15 and riding our cornerstones to the WCF!!!

  • QNoir says 3 months ago

    Who gets blamed the most for the series loss against Portland? McHale and Harden. Whose defense does the media bash non stop? Hardens. When we lose a close game, whose fault is it? Hardens because he probably attempted the last shot and missed it. Hell when free agents choose not to come here, apparently it's because of Harden... I'm not saying any of the critique is deserved or not deserved. That being said you can't honestly say Harden isn't judged by the media and fans quite a bit, and he should be. He is a star player and should be critiqued like one. To say he isn't is incorrect in my opinion.

    That's fair. I guess I agree from a 'media attention' standpoint. I just don't see it as it relates to tangible accountability (for Harden). He doesn't go out of his way to accept personal responsibility for poor team performances. But he's right. It is on him. The coaches don't respond to losses by limiting the situations the media may criticize. He remains in the game on late and crucial defensive plays, and we've had a problem losing games late in the 4th with the game is his hands. Saying "it's on us" is like a promise which is only made genuine when you commit to making the necessary adjustments or improvements. So I guess Harden has his work cut out for him to prove those statements. But he has time.

  • datruth says 3 months ago

    Sometimes the best thing to do is say nothing and the real leader of this team is D-12.

  • bboley24 says 3 months ago

    Do you think he has seen the youtube video?

    Do you think he heeds the criticism?

    I think that's the first step to his maturity.

    Maturity through Humility because I don't think a zero count in the rings column will save James Harden. (See Allen Iverson)

  • txtdo1411 says 3 months ago

    I don't know about "They get blasted the most when something not so great happens," lol. Never heard McHale put pressure on Harden. Dwight, yes. But not Harden. And remember him getting upset when reporters suggest he needs to step it up?


    Who gets blamed the most for the series loss against Portland? McHale and Harden. Whose defense does the media bash non stop? Hardens. When we lose a close game, whose fault is it? Hardens because he probably attempted the last shot and missed it. Hell when free agents choose not to come here, apparently it's because of Harden... I'm not saying any of the critique is deserved or not deserved. That being said you can't honestly say Harden isn't judged by the media and fans quite a bit, and he should be. He is a star player and should be critiqued like one. To say he isn't is incorrect in my opinion.
  • QNoir says 3 months ago

    It's not that big of a deal. I am pretty sure 100% of people would agree with him. He didn't put any players down. Role player isn't a derogatory term. Everyone has a role. His and Dwight's are to be the leaders of the team. Other players are there to round out the roster, and complete the team just like he said. It might piss Chandler off because in his mind he is more than that, but it is what it is. I guarantee Beverley, Ariza, Jones, Daniels, Dmo, Canaan and whoever else makes the roster agree with him. They are the stars, and for better or worse have to deal with being the star players. They get the most credit for success, and they get blasted the most when something not so great happens. If Harden wasn't a "cornerstone piece" this article never would've been written. Why should everyone know something, agree with it, and then blast Harden for saying it.

    I don't know about "They get blasted the most when something not so great happens," lol. Never heard McHale put pressure on Harden. Dwight, yes. But not Harden. And remember him getting upset when reporters suggest he needs to step it up?

  • thenit says 3 months ago I think what harden said was correct but he didn't need to say it. It's not disrespecting the players, but sometimes comments can alienate players and it seems like harden doesn't have a lot of good friends in the league and therefore he doesn't get the acclaims that he deserves. Unlike other young superstars that recruits players in today's nba, harden doesn't get involved in the process. I think it won't hurt us because it's insignificant and true and parsons is just sensitive. However it can affect vet FAs because it seems like every name we have been linked to has not come and even gone to worse teams than us. So there must be some reason for that and this doesn't help.
  • Steven says 3 months ago Being describe a "role player" doesn't mean you aren't a good player. The Spurs just won the championship with 1178930482 role players and 0 or 1(maybe?) stars. Harden wasn't taking a swipe at anyone.
  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    I apologize for the machine gun posting, but I cannot edit my posts for some reason. Nevertheless, I'll conclude with this. This ought to make for an interesting Team USA basketball camp.

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    And so it begins.....

    http://espn.go.com/dallas/nba/story/_/id/11260429/chandler-parsons-miffed-james-harden-talking-houston-rockets-cornerstones

    2un9l.jpg

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    Well the media blows everything out of proportion, so of course they are going to spin it to make a story out of it. They want hits, and the best way to get that is make stories where there really shouldn't be one. Harden said basically the exact same thing Howard said, and neither of them were wrong in saying it. They should be confident in their own abilities to win with or without Parsons.

    Now they have posted Parsons reaction on ESPN Dallas... The media has created this "feud" and are going to ride it as long as they can. It will all blow over once actual basketball starts getting played again, and there is no need for this break-up back and forth business to garner hits.

    The media is also notorious for taking statements out of context to add spin/create conflict as well. Maybe there was more said before or after the selected quote that is a bit more team mate friendly.

  • txtdo1411 says 3 months ago

    I know everybody else is a role player, but saying that is dumb IMO. What is the point of saying that. I know he probably didn't mean anything derogatory to his teammates, but that's the way it came across, at least to the media and public(we don't know how PBev, Ariza, etc... received it).

    Well the media blows everything out of proportion, so of course they are going to spin it to make a story out of it. They want hits, and the best way to get that is make stories where there really shouldn't be one. Harden said basically the exact same thing Howard said, and neither of them were wrong in saying it. They should be confident in their own abilities to win with or without Parsons.

    Now they have posted Parsons reaction on ESPN Dallas... The media has created this "feud" and are going to ride it as long as they can. It will all blow over once actual basketball starts getting played again, and there is no need for this break-up back and forth business to garner hits.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago

    I know everybody else is a role player, but saying that is dumb IMO. What is the point of saying that. I know he probably didn't mean anything derogatory to his teammates, but that's the way it came across, at least to the media and public(we don't know how PBev, Ariza, etc... received it).

  • thenit says 3 months ago

    It's true. Anyone can be made to look good or bad in the media. Here is an article about Paul George's "bad defense". Everything gets overblown nowadays and little is as bad, or good, as it is made out to be.

    I know the Paul Pierce comparison has been made for James Harden, but I think Baron Davis might be a closer approximation. Davis had a wider array of moves and was a better passer, but he played the game in a similar style to James with relentless, fearless attacking of the basket, the ability to force/absorb contact and still finish, plus a deep shot that made defenders pay for sagging off him. Presuming Harden will continue to add to his arsenal of moves and that his passing instincts will also develop this is a definite possibility in terms of his potential.

    I agree that anyone can look godlike or terrible with highlight clips. But as a rocket fan who watched every game last year, its tough to argue that he is improving. I didn't see a different in effort in playoffs and regular season as well as from last year. So we will see this year if there is any improvement in effort. He doesn't need to be all nba defensive player but at least lead by example in the playoffs. We will have to wait and see, but I hope he takes the next step this year.

  • RudyT1995 says 3 months ago

    Harden's comments are consistent with what I saw on the court last year. Almost every time Parson's tried to take charge of the offensive playmaking and Harden didn't get a touch, Harden's body language changed. Harden would look a little more detached, almost as if he was saying "seriously?" When Lin pulled stuff like that, Harden would just yell at him. I don't remember Harden yelling at Parsons, but he would kind of check out when Parsons did it.

    It's going to be interesting to see how Harden responds to being the sole playmaker on the team. He won't be wanting for touches this year that's for sure.

  • txtdo1411 says 3 months ago

    Wow. I just read the comments. That sounds like he is immature. It might be true, but you don't denigrate your team members like that. If I was a teammate of his, I sure as hell wouldn't like that.

    I know he was speaking about losing Parsons, but that quote was dumb.

    Hopefully the "role player" Ariza can talk to him. But since he's a cornerstone he probably doesn't care what role players think.

    All of my eggs are in the Howard being the leader basket.

    It's not that big of a deal. I am pretty sure 100% of people would agree with him. He didn't put any players down. Role player isn't a derogatory term. Everyone has a role. His and Dwight's are to be the leaders of the team. Other players are there to round out the roster, and complete the team just like he said. It might piss Chandler off because in his mind he is more than that, but it is what it is. I guarantee Beverley, Ariza, Jones, Daniels, Dmo, Canaan and whoever else makes the roster agree with him. They are the stars, and for better or worse have to deal with being the star players. They get the most credit for success, and they get blasted the most when something not so great happens. If Harden wasn't a "cornerstone piece" this article never would've been written. Why should everyone know something, agree with it, and then blast Harden for saying it.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    If anyone on this roster besides James and Dwight think they are stars then they are delusional. There is nothing wrong with being an NBA role player. 80-85% of the league probably falls into that category. James is not a politician and I think we are being reminded of why he doesn't speak to the media very much. This will blow over soon enough....and then be dredged back up no less than 11.5 times over the course of the season whenever chemistry questions arise...or whatever other hot topic surfaces. Ultimately, it is a complete non-issue in my book.

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    james harden into google.

    Just kidding thanks. :lol:

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago Just type james harden into google.
  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    Wow. I just read the comments. That sounds like he is immature. It might be true, but you don't denigrate your team members like that. If I was a teammate of his, I sure as hell wouldn't like that.

    I know he was speaking about losing Parsons, but that quote was dumb.

    Hopefully the "role player" Ariza can talk to him. But since he's a cornerstone he probably doesn't care what role players think.

    All of my eggs are in the Howard being the leader basket.

    Link to this interview?

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago Wow. I just read the comments. That sounds like he is immature. It might be true, but you don't denigrate your team members like that. If I was a teammate of his, I sure as hell wouldn't like that.

    I know he was speaking about losing Parsons, but that quote was dumb.

    Hopefully the "role player" Ariza can talk to him. But since he's a cornerstone he probably doesn't care what role players think.

    All of my eggs are in the Howard being the leader basket.
  • RocketMansinceStevieFrance says 3 months ago

    Hardens comments today were in my mind not necessarily a bad thing. But with him making these types of comments mean he is ready to take over the team and become the leader he should be, or is it just him basically saying that Howard and him are the only 2 good players? Him making those comments means we should see him taking over the offense, making good decisions, and playing the best defense he can play.

    I'll guess we will wait and see

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    JG thank you so much for posting that video. It is crazy how good or bad a player can look by picking and choosing what clips to include in a 16 min. video. Some of those passes he makes are just unreal. The two to D-mo back to back starting at the 7:25 mark are very high level of difficulty. There are only a few players in the league that can make those passes.

    It's true. Anyone can be made to look good or bad in the media. Here is an article about Paul George's "bad defense". Everything gets overblown nowadays and little is as bad, or good, as it is made out to be.

    I know the Paul Pierce comparison has been made for James Harden, but I think Baron Davis might be a closer approximation. Davis had a wider array of moves and was a better passer, but he played the game in a similar style to James with relentless, fearless attacking of the basket, the ability to force/absorb contact and still finish, plus a deep shot that made defenders pay for sagging off him. Presuming Harden will continue to add to his arsenal of moves and that his passing instincts will also develop this is a definite possibility in terms of his potential.

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    I know Harden is not elite among NBA athletes, but let's not lose perspective. We are talking about who is elite among the elite.

    This dunk right here is very athletic. This dunk used to get "10"s when performed in dunk contests--these days, we are dunk-spoiled because of guys like Vince Carter, pre-injury Dwight, and Blake Griffin.

    The next video is the Anti-Harden-No-Defense Video. It's nothing but 16 minutes of James scoring every way you can think of. I think James is quicker than people suspect and more explosive too. What really separates him from other athletes is his elite coordination. Watching the below video, one can really see that's the secret to his success and (good news for us) coordination does not fade nearly as fast as the other things.

    Most of you know I disagree with the Harden bashing over his defense. We agree that a better effort is needed for the team to improve. After that, the muck-raking and poo-flinging that goes on is rampant and better left to the trolls from other fan bases. This issue has more depth than his supposed ego, maturity, and laziness.

    That step back jumper is LETHAL!

  • txtdo1411 says 3 months ago

    JG thank you so much for posting that video. It is crazy how good or bad a player can look by picking and choosing what clips to include in a 16 min. video. Some of those passes he makes are just unreal. The two to D-mo back to back starting at the 7:25 mark are very high level of difficulty. There are only a few players in the league that can make those passes.

  • 2016Champions says 3 months ago

    I think he can be an average defender at the SF position, which will be made more possible now that we have Ariza to defend SG's.

  • Journeymany says 3 months ago I absolutely think that Harden can be an at least average defender, if not a very good one. The only question is does he *want* to do that? So for me, this next season is actually quite a key one in terms of his development - does he continue not to give a ****, or does he admit to past failings and become a genuine 2-way player? Fingers crossed for the latter, as then I think he'd be in MVP contention.
  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    I know Harden is not elite among NBA athletes, but let's not lose perspective. We are talking about who is elite among the elite.

    This dunk right here is very athletic. This dunk used to get "10"s when performed in dunk contests--these days, we are dunk-spoiled because of guys like Vince Carter, pre-injury Dwight, and Blake Griffin.

    The next video is the Anti-Harden-No-Defense Video. It's nothing but 16 minutes of James scoring every way you can think of. I think James is quicker than people suspect and more explosive too. What really separates him from other athletes is his elite coordination. Watching the below video, one can really see that's the secret to his success and (good news for us) coordination does not fade nearly as fast as the other things.

    Most of you know I disagree with the Harden bashing over his defense. We agree that a better effort is needed for the team to improve. After that, the muck-raking and poo-flinging that goes on is rampant and better left to the trolls from other fan bases. This issue has more depth than his supposed ego, maturity, and laziness.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago I have hope that harden is embarrassed and steps it up this year.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago If those guys are "average", Harden is abysmal.
  • RudyT1995 says 3 months ago

    Let me play devil's advocate, though. Has there ever been an NBA champion in which the focal point of the team--"the star"--was really bad at defense?

    Plenty of championship teams were led by average one-on-one defenders. Magic, Bird, Isiah Thomas, Chauncey Billups, Dwyane Wade, and Dirk were all somewhere between below average to average one-on-one. They played good team defense though. They knew how to communicate and at least they played hard.

    Harden kind of stands out because he doesn't always play hard on defense, doesn't communicate, and sometimes looks flat out lost.

  • Buckko says 3 months ago

    I'm curious, can anybody pull up any defensive stats for Harden post ASB, because that's when he looked like he seriously pick his game up on that side of the floor before crashing and burning in the playoffs.

  • Johnny Rocket says 3 months ago

    I basically agree with Rahat and Feeling Supersonic about why you never trade a guy like Harden. Let me play devil's advocate, though. Has there ever been an NBA champion in which the focal point of the team--"the star"--was really bad at defense? Jordan, Dream, Kobe, Shaq, Duncan, Lebron--all excellent defensive players. Sure, some of those guys (especially Shaq) didn't give a 100 percent every night on the defensive end, but they all played good to great defense in key games and in the playoffs. Am I missing somebody? Will a Rocket's championship be unprecedented in that respect?

  • feelingsupersonic says 3 months ago

    on athleticism - i compare harden to a paul pierce and carmelo anthony type. he'll age like fine wine, maybe even get better. he uses that beer belly of his to throw his defender off.

    as for trading him, no - you just have to build around him and the more i think about it, ariza for parsons is a step in that direction. he's simply far too gifted offensively to ever trade away just because of defense.

    Beer belly, hah!

    In reference to your comparison I agree the Paul Pierce comparison is a good one. To me Harden's game is a combination of timing and seeing what is happening on the floor before other players do and the quick mental process he goes through to change direction is elite and that goes back to reading his defender and his help. I still think the rest of the Rockets have been trying to catch up to James' passing ability and hopefully he and Howard experience a jump in their chemistry this season. Harden plays chess when most guys are playing checkers.

    Agreed, you never trade Harden. He is an elite player that scores and creates for teammates. I have been watching a lot of games from this past season and it's evident he really puts an effort into getting teammates easy buckets maybe to the point of where he was forcing it. I am hoping with defensive improvement that the Rockets league worst turnover differential will turn around dramatically with a decrease in total turnovers as well. Harden should improve there and now that he is flanked by Beverley and Ariza maybe good defense will turn into some easy offense.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago He's not explosive athletically, but he uses his quickness to get tonsured on the floor before the defenders. I don't think he's unathletic. I just think it manifests in quickness rather than jumping .
  • Red94 says 3 months ago

    on athleticism - i compare harden to a paul pierce and carmelo anthony type. he'll age like fine wine, maybe even get better. he uses that beer belly of his to throw his defender off.

    as for trading him, no - you just have to build around him and the more i think about it, ariza for parsons is a step in that direction. he's simply far too gifted offensively to ever trade away just because of defense.

  • RudyT1995 says 3 months ago

    Age gracefully? How so? His entire game is based off of athleticism getting to the rim. If he loses a step he's a backup. He does have a good shot but not good enough to be a star without that insane drive and kick game.

    It's funny that the big knock on Harden coming out of ASU was that he didn't have elite athleticism.

    From what I've seen, Harden gets to the rim mostly on change of direction and upper body strength. He doesn't explode past defenders like Rose, Westbrook, a young Iverson, etc. He kind of bullies his way through traffic or freezes defenders with his euro step.

    He's also a crafty ball handler. He often uses an array of crossovers and hesitation dribbles to wrong foot his defender.

    Harden is essentially Manu if Manu was a lazy defender. Manu was consistently elite until 32 or 33. I would expect Harden's game to age the same way.

  • thenit says 3 months ago No one has ever argued that he can't score. He is one of the best and efficient scorer in the nba. It's that in order to win we will have to see growth on the other side of he he court. Like Rahat mentioned Dwight's prime is limited and I'm doubtful that harden will figure it out in that timespan until it's too late within that time frame. I can't think of a nba championship team who won it, with their best player not playing at least respectable D. I hope I am wrong but my argument is that you see other young star players who at least gives an effort and therefore I believe they have better chance of winning a championship later on.
  • majik19 says 3 months ago

    While everyone sours on Harden, just wanted to show this graphic from an ESPN Insider article that's actually about Kevin Love:

    pelton_bestscorers.jpg

    Yeah - Harden is not only a great scorer, he's elite and at the top of the class behind Durant and Lebron. Let's not forget that - any scenarios that involve trading Harden mean we are trading a guy that essentiallycan't be replaced on the offensive end.

  • Buckko says 3 months ago

    Age gracefully? How so? His entire game is based off of athleticism getting to the rim. If he loses a step he's a backup. He does have a good shot but not good enough to be a star without that insane drive and kick game.

    Everything else I agree with .

    You just described Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook, not harden.
  • edrozora says 3 months ago

    Good article Rahat, but the quote you attributed to Francis about Lamar Odom was actually made by Cuttino Mobley...

    source: http://www.clutchcity.net/news/992/mobley_slights_ming_hopes_rockets_trade_for_odom/

  • QNoir says 3 months ago

    Will he mature into a superstar that receives the bulk of the credit for a title-worthy team? I don't see it happening. But sure, I think he'll mature into a player that can follow a great system, whenever a coach comes along to implement it.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    What players were polled? How many were polled? It would be easy for him to spin his results to convey his move as brilliance.

    Here's the quote:

    "He's a willing defender," Cuban said. "One of the reasons I went after him, one of the things I did, I went and talked to all of the scorers that I know and I asked who defended them the best and list the top three, and Chandler was on the list a few times. He's not a shutdown defender, but he's a work-hard defender. He's an irritant.

    Yeah....it does sound a bit like spin-doctoring to me.

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    I'm not overly concerned about this article....I'm mostly an optimist and I like to think that Harden is going to show improvement in this area--I could be wrong....

    As for Parsons, does anyone remember the Cuban remarks shortly after signing him? He said that he "polled" players around the league and many said Parsons was one of the toughest defenders they faced. So, where is the disconnect? Are we not seeing it? Is Cuban "spinning" his overpay to the public?

    What players were polled? How many were polled? It would be easy for him to spin his results to convey his move as brilliance.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    I'm not overly concerned about this article....I'm mostly an optimist and I like to think that Harden is going to show improvement in this area--I could be wrong....

    As for Parsons, does anyone remember the Cuban remarks shortly after signing him? He said that he "polled" players around the league and many said Parsons was one of the toughest defenders they faced. So, where is the disconnect? Are we not seeing it? Is Cuban "spinning" his overpay to the public?

  • Freebird says 3 months ago

    The Rox *have* helped themselves in other ways. Notably, getting a wing that will play defense. Love Chandler, but he saw the money Harden got coming here, and saw what defense Harden had to play to get said money. His course shifted to focus on offense because of this. Having a wing that plays D will hopefully mesh with D12, and perhaps 'learn' Harden a bit. Having 3 defensive minded players on the court might change his focus a bit.

  • txtdo1411 says 3 months ago

    Age gracefully? How so? His entire game is based off of athleticism getting to the rim. If he loses a step he's a backup. He does have a good shot but not good enough to be a star without that insane drive and kick game.

    Everything else I agree with .

    I completely disagree on his game being based on athleticism. His offensive game is all based on positioning, and rarely does he use his athleticism to gain an upper edge. It is more fakes, using his body to shield defenders, euro-step etc. He is strong for his size, but outside of that, I wouldn't consider him an elite athlete (well at least among NBA players).

    I agree with you agreeing with everything else said haha. I do expect him to continue to mature, but it could just be the optimist in me. He is such a skilled player, and has games where he puts in the effort on both sides of the court (ex. 2nd Pacers game & Game 6 of the Portland series). If he can put it together, he would be a legitimate competitor for the MVP award. It just depends on him mentally maturing. I think Dwight has really matured in the last couple years, and I hope he can be a mentor to James. At the end of the day though it all depends on if Harden himself has the desire to be a champion, or if he's satisfied just being a great scorer in the league.

  • Johnny Rocket says 3 months ago

    Lets assume that the Harden's defensive does not improve significantly this year. Let's also assume that the Rox win 55 games and get bounced during the 2nd round. Under those circumstances, do you begin to entertain trades for Harden? If it is all about winning championships, when do you know that you'll never win one with his defensive liabilities?

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago Age gracefully? How so? His entire game is based off of athleticism getting to the rim. If he loses a step he's a backup. He does have a good shot but not good enough to be a star without that insane drive and kick game.

    Everything else I agree with .

Leave a Comment