Despite being one of the best offensive players for the last five years, James Harden has been accused of being lazy, losing focus and not playing much defense. However, what the reigning 2017/18 MVP is currently doing this season is nothing short of incredible.
Not only did Harden lose an All-Star point guard in Chris Paul through injury, the Carmelo Anthony and Houston Rockets didn’t go as planned. Rockets also traded away one of their best defensive players in Trevor Ariza. With all these problems, the Rockets should fall right off and miss the playoffs, right? Wrong. Harden refused to accept that.
Harden has arguably been the best regular season player in the NBA for the last five years, but its this season where he is really dominating the league like no other. Here are some facts on the incredible season Harden is having so far:
1. In his last two games, Harden scored 115 points (57 vs Grizzlies and 58 vs Nets) and none were assisted.
2. Harden is well on course to score the most points per 100 possessions, and will become the first player ever to average minimum of 47 points per 100 possession per
3. Harden will average more than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant in four out of five offensive categories.
In 1987/88, Michael Jordan averaged 37.1 PPG, 5.2 REB, 4.6 APG, 27.8 FGA, 11.9 FTA
In 2005/06, Kobe Bryant averaged 35.4 PPG, 5.3 REB, 4.5 APG, 27.2 FGA, 10.2 FTA
In 2018/19, Harden is averaging 35.4 PPG, 6.3 REB, 8.5 APG, 23.4 FGA, 11.6 FTA.
4. With 41 games left in the regular season, Jordan is ahead of the reigning MVP by 1.7 PPG, Harden finds himself tied with Bryant. Its worth noting that Jordan & Bryant shot more free throws per game than Harden.
5. Harden is assisting his teammates twice as much as two of the best players to ever grace the basketball court ever did in their most efficient season.
6. Harden is taking four less shots (23.4) than Jordan (27.8) & Bryant (27.2) and is also averaging more rebounds per game.
7. Harden has assisted the Houston Rockets 116 times (since Chris Paul injury) and his teammates have only returned the favor 17 times.
8. Harden now leads the NBA among active players with thirteen +50 point games, overtaking LeBron James. Most importantly, Harden did this 6 seasons less than James.
9. Harden is now the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to score +55 points in consecutive games.
10. Harden has assisted or scored on 50 points in 19 straight games, making it the longest streak in NBA history.
11. Harden has 20 straight games with 30+ points this season. Only Wilt Chamberlain has more in NBA history.
What the reigning MVP is currently doing is very special. Once a player who was happy being a 6th Man for the rest of his career alongside Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook at Oklahoma Thunder, not only is Harden playing offense at an extremely high level, it’s his efficiency that’s got every NBA fan around the World stunned.
One thing basketball critics need to realize is that Harden is more than just free throws & drawing fouls. Harden is arguably the best offensive player in the game, has been for some time now and is well on his way to yet another MVP crown despite not playing in an All-star studded team.
Flip the page to watch Harden’s 115 point highlights versus Grizzlies & Nets.
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