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@  thenit : (28 April 2016 - 06:27 PM) Harden is the best offensive player but the best overall was Klay last night
@  majik19 : (28 April 2016 - 04:25 AM) klay thompson is the best player on the floor. hard to win when Harden isn't the best.
@  majik19 : (28 April 2016 - 04:19 AM) GS is better at hitting bad/covered shots than anyone on our team is at hitting open shots.
@  majik19 : (28 April 2016 - 04:16 AM) that was embarassing. 4 offensive rebounds. 2 missed 3s by Ariza and 2 missed 3s by Beverley.
@  Cooper : (28 April 2016 - 03:24 AM) this team is depressing
@  majik19 : (28 April 2016 - 03:01 AM) Ariza is a complete negative on the floor. he can't hit a shot or fight through/around a screen to save his life
@  majik19 : (28 April 2016 - 02:54 AM) everyone but james harden is terrible right now
@  thejohnnygold : (27 April 2016 - 08:49 PM) I think Walton is going to be a solid hire for somebody. I wouldn't mind if it were for us.
@  slick shoes : (27 April 2016 - 06:15 PM) I'd like to see them take it full circle and hire Walton. I don't know if he's the right buy for their young core currently, but maybe 2-3 years from now.
@  thejohnnygold : (27 April 2016 - 05:24 PM) Knowing LA, they will do something that leaves us all scratching our heads.
@  slick shoes : (27 April 2016 - 04:56 PM) While I do favor JVG, I hope that we also kick the tires on a few other guys as well.
@  thejohnnygold : (27 April 2016 - 01:34 PM) If you mean JVG--no, I'm not worried. :)
@  slick shoes : (27 April 2016 - 12:32 PM) Is it just me or is the Lakers firing Scott a bit worrisome for our coaching search?
@  DenverRocket : (27 April 2016 - 12:02 AM) Seems like Parsons is already trying to recruit Dwight to the Mavs ;-)
@  DenverRocket : (26 April 2016 - 05:51 AM) I love KD even more after his post-match response to that Cuban comment: "He's a idiot!" :)
@  slick shoes : (26 April 2016 - 03:01 AM) Why give Westbrook bulletin board material in a closeout game?
@  Mario Peña : (26 April 2016 - 02:28 AM) That insult Cuban hurled at Westbrook was classic big mouth Cuban. It gave Wedtbrook some fuel no doubt.
@  Mario Peña : (25 April 2016 - 02:40 AM) I can't stand the Warriors but I hate to see great players fall prey to injuries. Seems like Steph could be done till next season which is unfortunate since he does play on one team I root for, Team USA.
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 10:02 PM) down by 23 points and we have McDaniels AND Brewer in. WTF?
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 09:48 PM) the difference in this gme has been Brewer is in and Beverley is out

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James Harden vs. Tracy McGrady


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 02 March 2015 - 05:26 PM

    New post: James Harden vs. Tracy McGrady
    By: Rahat Huq

    Tracy McGrady's best year in a Rockets uniform came in 2004-2005, his first in Houston, when he was 25 years old.  McGrady averaged 25.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.7 assists on the year.  He shot 43% overall, 33% on 3's, and 47% on 2's.  He got to the line for 7.1 free throw attempts per game.  By comparison, James Harden this season, at age 25, is averaging 27.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game.  Harden is shooting 45% overall, 38% on 3's, and 49% on 2's.  He's getting to the line 9.6 times per game.

     

    McGrady turned the ball over 9.5 times per 100 possessions; Harden's rate is at 15.3.  Each player has a usage percentage of 31% for the respective years in question.

     

    McGrady shot 37% of his field goals from between 16 feet and the 3 point line, at an accuracy rate of 44%.  His next highest attempted area was from beyond the 3 point line, where he took 26% of his attempts, at 33%, as aforementioned.  Harden, on the other hand, takes 38% of his shots from beyond the 3 point line, shooting them at 38%.  Harden's next highest attempted area is at the rim where he takes 31% of his shots, with a 62% accuracy rate.  (McGrady shot 57% at the rim in '05).  Also, Harden takes only 13% of his shots from between 16 feet and the 3 point line, McGrady's favorite area on the court.  Harden is shooting 34% from that area.

     

    I never thought we'd see a shooting guard in Houston better than McGrady's inaugural season.  At the time of his acquisition, he was arguably, at worst, the second best player in the entire league.  But James Harden, already, at a similar age, (though with lesser experience since T-Mac jumped straight from high school), is putting up numbers better than anything T-Mac did with the Rockets. Harden has gotten better during his time here while McGrady, sadly, peaked in that first season, and slowly deteriorated from then onward.

     

    Unlike McGrady, you expect Harden to age gracefully with continued improvement.  While his reputation was as a dunk artist, what's misunderstood is that by this point, McGrady was already finely skilled in the intricate aspects of basketball.  In fact, his strengths in the mid range could even be taken as detrimental as he shied away from the paint more and more over the years.  Harden, on the other hand, is just now figuring things out from the mid-range.  McGrady, at 6'9, could just rise over any opponent for a jumpshot whenever he wanted it.  Harden, however, has to step back, or step out, to get a clean look.

     

    The strides Harden has made this season are pretty incredible.  The ball-handling is crisper, but he's also worked hard to improve on some of his glaring tendencies.  As recently as even the beginning of this season, he'd almost always drive left and step out to his right.  This became predictable, with smart defenders jumping on his spots.  As we've seen recently, Harden is now driving with both hands, and stepping out in both directions.


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    #2 NorEastern

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      Posted 02 March 2015 - 10:18 PM

      Pretty much spot on. Harden is every bit the player T-Mac was, with a much longer shelf life. However, I do wonder how much better T-Mac would have been if he, like Harden, had become the poster child for the modern NBA player. Threes, frees and at the rim.

       

      I find it interesting thinking about NBA players propensities towards injury. Some, like Rose and Roy, seem destined for joint replacement in their mid thirties. Others like Harden, even with all of their collisions and spills on the court, seem to be almost immune to injury. Is there any way to model this? Can we use their genomes to decipher this?

       

      T-Mac was a wondrous athlete. Definitely out of Harden's class. But Harden has an innate feel for how to play the game and skills that T-Mac could only dream about. But the overriding theme of T-Mac's career after 25 was fragile.


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      #3 rocketrick

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        Posted 02 March 2015 - 10:39 PM

        Harden has clearly found ways to improve his game. It seemed that once McGrady peaked the 1st year with the Rockets, he never found a way to improve on his game. Harden is clearly a better one on one defender, too.

        Who in today's NBA do you want with the ball in his hands in the last 3 minutes of a tight game? Harden, LeBron, Kobe, Durant, Westbrook, etc.? I argue that Harden is the most effective player in these situations as he is a willing passer and is willing to drive to the bucket relentlessly when given the opportunity. LeBron clearly was effective late in the game yesterday in being more physical and stopping Harden at times. Yet the next possession, Harden seemingly always figured out a different way to attack. LeBron just basically dribbled away the shot clock and relied on a high screen or a stepback shot to create a much more difficult shot in yesterday's game.
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        #4 PKM

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          Posted 03 March 2015 - 01:49 AM

          I have to admit, I'm not as confident in Harden's shelf life. Yes, he's built like a tank. Yes, he's strong. But as much as non-NBA fans like to complain that he flops for his calls, we see Harden take a beating every night from barreling into the rim ala Wade or AI ( and while I hate Iverson and everything he meant to the NBA, I do give him respect for how he took a beating). Harden gets up every night from sprained ankles, and he was holding his shoulder at the end of the Cavs game and all that. And at some point there's a good chance it could become too much for him, especially since the burden he carries is comparable to McGrady in that first year.

           

          Maybe I'm worrying too much again, and I doubt Harden's durability will be McGrady-level bad anytime soon. But I would not be so glib in assuming that he'll be just fine. Dwight was healthy - until he wasn't. Same with Durant.


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          #5 Losthief

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          Posted 03 March 2015 - 11:20 PM

          People forget that mcgrady had health issues when he entered the league, here's a quote from him:

           

          Tracy McGrady is on borrowed time. He has been for the past 11 years. "When I first entered the NBA and got tested by doctors and trainers," McGrady says, "they projected I'd play five or six years because of the way my body is structured."

           

          He was born with a mild case of scoliosis (curvature of the spine.) This combined with the knee issues (which put more strain on the back) was what caused his chronic injuries. To my knowledge harden does not have this inborn issues. Big difference. I remember people calling t-mac weak, saying he didn't work hard enough to stay in shape, but man he was just born bad....worked hard as hell to last as long as he did. But long story short t-mac durability was always going to be an issue, harden to my knowledge isn't constructed that way.

           

          OP: i'd say when t-mac was locked in (playoff time, etc) and healthy (rarer) he was a better defender (one on one and team) than harden. Remember that dallas series with him guarding dirk? Also t-mac turned the ball over a lot less then harden and I would say was maybe a slightly better cross court passer (due to height). Though i'd give harden the edge in finishing at the rim and running the pick and roll. Also harden is better in transition i think than t-mac ever was. Oh and harden I think is the better shooter (from everywhere especially 3s and FTs). Overall i think i'd take Harden as the better player, though arguably orlando T-MAC was closer to harden than HOU t-mac.


          Edited by Losthief, 03 March 2015 - 11:24 PM.

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